Texas Wind Farm Design

New plant helps the Lone Star State set the pace for wind power generation capacity

To generate renewable energy for consumers across Texas, E.ON Climate and Renewables North America planned to build a wind farm 26 miles east of Amarillo, on the Texas Panhandle, one of the windiest spots in the country. The company, whose portfolio includes some of the world’s largest wind farms, was looking to expand its presence in the U.S. Because wind farm operations are compatible with a variety of land uses, including ranching and farming, the rural Carson County location seemed ideal.

Featuring 118 wind turbines on 427-foot-tall towers operating on a 45,000-acre site, the plant has a power generation capacity of 211 megawatts, enough renewable energy for 64,000 households. To get the project up and running, E.ON turned to the Gannett Fleming Power Group for electrical engineering design of the wind farm’s three main components: the energy collection system, a substation to provide transmission voltage, and power transmission to the grid.

What We Did

The team’s design work began with a 34.5 kilovolt (kV) collection system consisting of eight underground feeder units connected to each of the wind turbine generators. The substation features two main power transformers to step up the collection circuits to 345 kV. Substation design included a motor-operated line disconnect switch, primary side breakers, and secondary side disconnects for safety isolation, as well as reactive compensation banks to regulate voltage and improve system performance.

The team designed the wind farm’s connection to the high-voltage transmission grid using a 4.7-mile overhead 345 kV line. An arc flash hazard analysis helped the team place warning labels throughout the system to ensure worker safety. Startup support was provided when construction was complete. Located in one of Texas’ five Competitive Renewable Energy Zones, the plant is connected to transmission infrastructure built as part of a statewide initiative to bring renewable energy from remote regions to growing population centers.

LDP Group, Inc., prior to becoming a Gannett Fleming company, completed this project.

Key Features:

  • 34.5 kV collection system with underground feeder units connected to 118 wind turbine generators.
  • New substation with control house to transform collected power to 345 kV.
  • 4.7-mile overhead 345 kV transmission line connecting substation to grid.
More Project Details

Market(s):
Power & Energy

Region:
West

OUTCOMES

Renewable energy generated for 64,000 households.

Annual 482,000 metric ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Emissions displacement equal to taking 100,000 cars off the road.