The Pattern Energy Group, based in San Francisco, is breathing new life into its Gulf Wind project located in Kenedy County, south of Corpus Christi, Texas. Gulf Wind was constructed in 2009 and sits on 9,600 acres leased from the Corpus Christi-based Kenedy Memorial Foundation.
Pattern Energy conducted a major repowering of its wind farm during the first half of 2020. As a long-term partner to Pattern, Ulteig was brought in as Engineer on Record to evaluate the existing electrical plant infrastructure and perform the engineering and design for the incorporation of the new equipment. The repowering consisted of replacing nacelles, towers, and blades for the 118 turbines at Gulf Wind with new Siemens Gamesa 2.3 MW turbines, each with 108-meter blades on 80-meter towers.
Ulteig performed a reactive power study to ensure compliance with ERCOT requirements, conducted various cable ampacity studies that evaluated the existing cable, and designed the addition of a padmount transformer for each wind turbine. In conjunction with the installation of the latest technology turbines by the project, Ulteig played a crucial role in ensuring that the repowered facility will have more efficient production, lower operating costs and longer life – all of which combined to increase the long-term value of Gulf Wind.
The new turbines are expected to generate 271 megawatts per year or roughly the same amount of energy to power 80,000 Texas homes. The new turbines will cause a 19% increase in energy produced when compared to previous turbines. The electricity produced annually by Gulf Wind offsets the carbon dioxide emissions of 180,000 cars and conserves enough water to supply more than 10,500 Texans each year.