Avangrid switches on 208MW Amazon Wind Farm US East

Iberdrola’s Avangrid Renewables has commissioned the largest wind farm ever built in the southeastern US, the 208MW Amazon Wind Farm US East.

The project, which faced down opposition from some local lawmakers in North Carolina, represents one of the biggest wins for Gamesa in the US market in recent years, with 104 of the Spanish turbine supplier’s G114-2.0MW machines installed across rural Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.

Avangrid Renewables will own and operate the $400m wind farm, selling the electricity to Amazon Web Services under a long-term offtake deal to power its current and future data centres in the region.

The Amazon Wind Farm US East – North Carolina’s first large-scale wind farm – begin delivering power in December and reached full commercial operation this month.

Although the project faced some local opposition, particularly in recent months, it was overwhelmingly supported by politicians in both parties throughout its development and construction, with 30 in-state businesses winning work, and 500 workers on-site at peak construction.

The wind farm will have a permanent on-site crew of 17 technicians, and will inject $1.1m into the local economy each year through landowner payments and taxes, Avangrid Renewables says.

“Almost everyone in the community knows someone who works on the wind farm, sold or rented something that helped build the wind farm, or owns land where the project was built,” says Cecil Perry, chairman of the Pasquotank county board of commissioners.

Known formerly as Iberdrola Renewables, Oregon-based Avangrid Renewables is among the largest owners of US wind farms, with 6.3GW of renewables capacity online following switch-on in North Carolina.

Avangrid Renewables is a unit of publicly listed Avangrid, which owns a handful of US utilities clustered around the northeast, and is controlled by Spanish energy giant Iberdrola.

Avangrid “safe-harboured” enough wind turbines in 2016 to build 2GW of future capacity, and was among the developers to get pre-qualified to participate in the offshore tender that will take place next month for a zone off the coast of North Carolina.