RES taps Vestas for US projects

Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has received a 60MW order from Renewable Energy Systems Americas as part of an equipment supply agreement with a potential of up to 610MW.

Vestas is expected to deliver the V100-2.0MW turbines in 2014, for the commissioning of projects slated for 2015. Vestas didn’t disclose the new projects' names and locations.

Vestas said the order is for "wind turbine equipment corresponding to 60MW to secure PTC beyond 2013".

By ordering "equipment", rather than complete turbines, the deal can be applied to multiple projects, allowing them to demonstrate expenditure and progress under the rules of the renewed Production Tax Credit.

"In order to comply with PTC rules, you need to have carried out at least 5% of the total investment this year," Vestas spokesman Jens Velling said.

"You then qualify for the PTC during the next two years - 2014 and 2015 - and can complete construction in those years.

"This way of structuring a deal doesn't carry additional risks for Vestas," Velling said.

Part of the RES order announced today - or 60MW - is firm and unconditional.

Susan Reilly, CEO of RES Americas, said: “This is a great example of how the ‘start-of-construction’ language in the current production tax credit for wind energy is generating increased spending and creating US manufacturing jobs.

"This purchase, which we expect to increase as these projects move forward, would not have occurred but for the decision Congress made to qualify any project that starts this year.”

Chris Brown, president of Vestas’ sales and service division in the US and Canada said: “Transactions like this underscore the value delivered by the Production Tax Credit and the importance of extending it beyond its current expiration at the end of 2013.

"Our US manufacturing facilities will produce blades, nacelles and towers for these projects which will help keep our factory workers busy.”

The contract includes the delivery of wind turbine equipment together with a service and maintenance agreement.

A week ago Vestas unveiled a supply agreement with EDF Renewable Energy that could see it deliver up to 750MW to projects in the US – starting with an order for 80MW.