Pattern Energy Group LP (PEG LP) recently announced it has closed the financing and started construction of its Panhandle Wind project, a 218MW wind power project located in the Texas Panhandle that is using Texas’ new Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission infrastructure, which connects to the state’s main power grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

“The Panhandle Wind Project will be among the first projects in the Texas Panhandle to connect to the new CREZ transmission lines, which PEG LP was instrumental in bringing to fruition,” said Mike Garland, CEO of PEG LP. “This project will provide multiple benefits to Carson County and its residents, including more than 200 construction jobs, at least 12 permanent operations and maintenance positions, and clean energy for up to 60,000 Texas homes without using any of the region’s limited water supplies. Over the life of the project, millions of dollars in property taxes will be paid to Carson County, the White Deer and Panhandle School Districts, and the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District.  Further, many millions more will be paid in landowner royalty payments and community benefits.”

Upon completion, PEG LP will donate more than $800,000 to establish the Panhandle Wind Community Fund to support civic and educational causes in Carson County. Panhandle Wind will continue to make annual contributions to the Community Fund over the next decade.

Mortenson is overseeing construction of Panhandle Wind, which will use 118 GE 1.85MW turbines, as well as construction of a 345kV substation, transmission line and operations facility. Completion is estimated for August 2014.

Panhandle Wind will sell power to Citigroup Energy Inc. under a long-term hedge offtake agreement. GE Energy Financial Services and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. will invest structured equity in the project. PEG LP – which developed the project, is serving as the project’s managing member, and will provide operations and maintenance – is receiving construction loans from BayernLB, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Nord/LB, Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, RBC, RBS, and Societe Generale.

Compared to coal-fired generation, the Panhandle Wind project will offset approximately 903,000 tons of CO2 each year, the equivalent of taking more than 177,000 cars off the roads.