August 13, 2013 // Electric Light & Power
The U.S. Department of Energy has broken ground on the nation’s largest federally-owned wind farm at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas. The plant is the primary site used to assemble and disassemble nuclear weapons, and next summer will be home to a five turbine, 11.5MW wind farm that will provide more than 60 percent of the electricity required by the facility.
Siemens Government Technologies will construct the wind farm under a performance-based contact that uses long-term energy savings to pay for the cost of the project. This avoids any upfront costs for taxpayers and will advance Obama’s 2011 challenge to federal agencies to pursue $2 billion in energy performance-based contacts within two years.
“As the largest energy user in the country, the federal government has a tremendous opportunity to lead by example in taking actions to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy usage to save taxpayers dollars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. "Responsible development of America's wind energy resources is a critical part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy, and the Pantex wind project furthers our commitment to lead by example and to advance a cleaner, more sustainable energy future."