NextEra eyes 1.4GW of new wind

NextEra Energy expects to add 1.02GW of contracted wind capacity this year in the US and another 398.9MW in 2015, while commissioning 75MW in the first quarter.

The largest US wind asset owner and electricity generator estimates 2014-15 potential capacity additions at 1.75GW and 2.25GW.

In a conference call, chief financial officer Moray Dewhurst says NextEra believes there are “good odds” of another extension of the federal electricity production tax credit (PTC) before the end of this year. It expired 31 December last year.

He did not speculate on whether Congress would extend the incentive for one or two years.

“We continue to believe in long-term growth in demand for renewables. NextEra is well-positioned to gain from that demand on both the wind and solar side,” he says.

Armando Pimentel, who heads NextEra’s renewables business, says that wind growth is being driven by “pure economics” of long-term off-take contracts, not by state mandates or concerns that President Barack Obama’s administration will tighten emissions standards for coal-fired power plants.

He also says that NextEra is looking at several acquisition opportunities although he did not say if this involved wind projects or smaller rival developers.

In Canada, NextEra expects to bring six projects into service through 2015: Adelaide, 59.9MW; Bluewater, 59.9MW; Bornish, 72.9MW; East Durham, 22.4MW; Goshen, 102MW and Jericho, 149MW.

As of 13 March, NextEra had 10.21GW of wind capacity in the US and Canada.

On the solar side, NextEra expects its 50% owned Desert Sunlight solar project to fully enter service this year, which will add 275MW (AC) capacity. In 2015, the 27MW (AC) Adelanto I and Shafter 20MW (AC) PV projects are due to come online.

Scheduled for completion in 2016 are two, 250MW (AC) solar PV projects – McCoy in California and Silver State South in Nevada.