Today was a rare windless day on the plains of the Texas Panhandle, but that didn’t stop a group of nearly 100 people from gathering to break ground on the Pantex Renewable Energy Project.
The brisk Panhandle winds will power the five 2.3 megawatt turbines, scheduled for completion next summer, making the PREP the largest federally-owned wind farm in the country.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by officials from NNSA, including Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and NNSA Production Office Manager Steve Erhart. They were joined by Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. CEO Judy Marks and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and Texas Tech University.
Siemens will construct PREP under an Energy Savings Performance Contract, delivering a turn-key wind farm system with an annual production guarantee for 18 years. Siemens will be paid directly from the value of energy savings generated by the turbines.
PREP will be built on 1,500 acres of land east of the Pantex Plant. It will generate approximately 47 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which is more than 60 percent of the electricity needed for Pantex. The project will reduce CO2 emissions by over 35,000 metric tons per year—the equivalent of removing 7,200 cars from the road each year or planting 850,000 trees.
The wind farm will play a key role in helping Pantex achieve President Obama’s directive that the federal government lead the way in clean energy and efficiency. The Administration set a goal for the federal government to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
About the photos (clockwise from top left):
NNSA Production Office Project Manager John Herrera, NPO Project Manager (retired) Johnnie Guelker, NPO Manager Steve Erhart, Siemens Government Technologies, Inc., President and CEO Judy Marks, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington, all take part in today’s groundbreaking event.
Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington speaks at the ground breaking event.
From left to right: B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington and Amarillo community leader Bill Harris discuss the groundbreaking of the Pantex Renewable Energy Project.
NPO Manager Steve Erhart talks about the importance of the new Pantex Renewable Energy Project.