Shell Renewables Switches On West Texas Wind Farm

Liano Estacado Wind Ranch near Amarillo rated at 80MW, enough to power 30,000 households.

Published: 25-Jan-2002

HOUSTON, Jan.25, 2002 – Shell Renewables' U.S. wind energy operation, Shell WindEnergy Inc., announced today that it has purchased and commenced commercial operation of Llano Estacado Wind Ranch at White Deer, an 80 megawatt (MW) wind power facility near Amarillo, Texas. The project was developed by Cielo Wind Power, LLC of Austin, Texas, and will operate under a 15-year power purchase agreement with Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy operating company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Each year, Llano Estacado is estimated to produce enough power to meet the energy needs of approximately 30,000 households. The project is connected at the site to an Xcel Energy 115-kV transmission line.

"We are delighted to have moved so quickly in making a second major investment in the U.S. wind power market," said David Jones, director of Shell WindEnergy Inc. "Wind energy is not only the fastest growing area of power generation world-wide but it is also one of the cleanest sources of energy. We intend to explore additional opportunities in this important and growing area and will remain focused on the many attractive options the U.S. market presents for expanding Shell's wind energy portfolio."

"Cielo Wind Power is proud of the performance of the project's construction team to complete site work in three months despite severe weather conditions in the Panhandle," said Walter Hornaday, president of Cielo Wind Power, LLC. "We had great local support from the City of White Deer officials, Carson County officials and the local farmers," acknowledged Hornaday.

"We are pleased to purchase wind energy because generation of electricity from wind conserves natural resources—water, and fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal," said Gary L. Gibson, Xcel Energy state vice president, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas. "The water savings are particularly important in this region. This purchase will allow Xcel Energy to avoid using about 160 million gallons of water annually."

Shell WindEnergy entered the U.S. market in November 2001 with the launch of Rock River I, a 50 MW wind power facility near Foote Creek Rim, Wyo. Overall, more than 1,000 MW of wind energy projects are currently being progressed by Shell in the U.S. and Europe. Shell's interest in wind power generation involves nearly all aspects of the development chain, including identification, site evaluation, design, construction, and operation.

Shell Renewables is part of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies, and was established to develop commercial opportunities in solar and wind energy. In solar energy, Shell Renewables has recently joined the top tier players in the solar photovoltaics industry with its joint venture with Siemens Solar. The key objective for the solar business is to grow in line with the market, which is currently growing at around 25 percent a year. In the wind business, Shell is focusing on developing and operating wind farms, and selling 'green' electricity. These areas build on Shell's strengths including deal structuring, project management and offshore operations. Projects are being evaluated in Europe and North America. Shell's aim in the wind business in the next few years is to create a platform for growth that builds on its strengths. For more information, please visit www.shell.com/renewables.

Cielo Wind Power, LLC is the largest wind energy developer in the Southwest. Cielo has developed approximately 600 megawatts of wind energy capacity, including the world's largest wind energy plant, a 278-megawatt facility near McCamey, Texas. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas with offices in McCamey and White Deer, Texas. For more information, go to www.cielowind.com.

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with operations in 12 Western and Midwestern states. Formed by the merger of Denver-based New Century Energies and Minneapolis-based Northern States Power Co., Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.2 million electricity customers and 1.7 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. In terms of customers, it is the fourth-largest combination electricity and natural gas company in the nation. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.

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