- Iberdrola Renewables is breaking ground on the 208 MW Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East installation in North Carolina, the first large scale wind energy development to go into construction across the nine states of the Southeast.
- The $400 million, 104 turbine project is being built on a 34-square mile, 22,000 acre site across lands of at least 60 property owners in a windy northeast corner of the state and is expected to go online by the end of 2016.
- The project’s output, estimated to be enough to power 60,000 homes, has been contracted for by Amazon Web Services.
The Amazon Wind Farm is expected to provide 250 construction jobs and 10 full time jobs. Its 60-plus property owners will be paid $6,000 each for the first year, a year one total payment into North Carolina of $624,000 by Iberdrola.
The developer will also be the biggest tax payer in each of the two counties the project spans. It will pay annual local property taxes that begin with first year payments of $5,000 per turbine, or $520,000 per county, and reach $8,000 per turbine after 30 years. But it will get a 94% tax rebate in year one.
Resource maps released earlier this year by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory showed the impact of turbine technology on the viability of wind in the Southeast.
The last generation of wind turbines, with 80 meter hub heights, showed little wind potential. Today’s turbines, with 110 meter hub heights, show more, and make wind viable in the Southeast. Turbine manufacturers’ plans for wind technology in the coming 5 years to 10 years, with hub heights going to 140 meters, are expected to provide a 35% or higher capacity factor in the Southeast.