Tri Global Energy expands to Nebraska with 100MW project

Dallas-based Tri Global Energy, the largest project developer in the biggest US wind state of Texas, is expanding to rural Nebraska with the 100MW Sugar Loaf facility.

The company plans to initiate development this year, Susie Lomelino, chief communications officer, tells Recharge. Sugar Loaf represents an opportunity to work cooperatively there with local partners and residents who share Tri Global Energy’s “core values and desire for economic development in rural communities,” she adds.

Founded in 2009, Tri Global Energy has pioneered a community wind business model for large-scale projects, with several having 300MW or more nameplate capacity. It is easily the largest US community wind developer. 

Its business plan allows and encourages direct equity participation by landowners and community members in a project’s development phase, while leveraging support from the company to incorporate a local partner to manage and drive it to commercial success.

Sugar Loaf increases its project pipeline to 2.9GW, most of it in Texas. “While Tri Global Energy intends to stay true to its Texas roots, we’ll look to replicate our success in other regions of the country,” Lomelino says. The company is also active in New Mexico.

Lomelino says that the company has received interest from communities across the US looking to develop commercial-scale wind.

Nebraska has the nation’s second most wind generation potential among states after Texas, but ranked 18 th in installed wind power capacity. It is among 11 states that lack renewables mandate or a voluntary target.

With 1.9 million people and not much industry, Nebraska has a small internal market for electricity. Still, it could become a promising large and new source of wind power for export if several proposed long-haul transmission lines are built.

Tri Global has been adept at finding buyers for its projects. In May, Danish fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners bought five of them in Texas totaling 800MW, and a month later NextEra Energy Resource acquired a 78.2MW facility. In 2015, NextEra bought the 800MW-plus Hale project.