Avangrid targets Q4 2017 for giant El Cabo operation

Avangrid Renewables expects to place its $500m, 298MW El Cabo project under construction in New Mexico in full commercial operation by the end of 2017, the US unit of Iberdrola told Recharge.

Contractors have been laying turbine foundations and doing road work at the sprawling site in central New Mexico. He said project financing has been arranged.

Transmission access issues had slowed project development but those have been resolved, said Paul Copleman, a spokesman for Avangrid.

In July, Gamesa announced it had won a contract to supply 142 of its G114 2.1MW turbines for the project, with commissioning due from June next year.

Southern California Edison is purchasing El Cabo’s electricity under long-term contract.

When it comes online, El Cabo will be the second largest wind farm in New Mexico after Pattern Energy’s 324MW Broadview facility also under development.

The New Mexico press quoted an Avangrid official as saying that the potential exists for additional development phases for El Cabo.

The project will give New Mexico a lift with wind development, which has lagged due to transmission constraints and sluggish internal demand. The state ranks 11 in wind energy potential with 492GW, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Avangrid boasts the second-largest portfolio of operating wind farms in the US and a 5.9GW wind and solar pipeline.