Acciona bringing new La Chalupa wind farm online in Lower Valley

Acciona Energy is busy plugging its new wind farm into the Texas power grid after completing construction of its La Chalupa site in Cameron County, officials said Thursday.

The 63 wind turbines, Nordex AWP 3150s, have a rotor diameter of more than 400 feet and are mounted on steel towers with a hub height of about 300 feet.

La Chalupa is Acciona’s 10th wind farm in the United States and third in Cameron County. The company, headquartered in Spain, also operates the San Roman and Palmas Altas wind-energy sites.

The new wind farm will generate 198 megawatts of electricity, far larger than San Roman (93 MW) and Palmas Altas (145 MW).

“This new investment highlights Acciona’s commitment to the U.S. renewables market,” said Rafael Esteban, director of Acciona’s energy division in the United States.

“It will allow us to pass 1,000 megawatts of installed capacity in the U.S, where we also have a major portfolio of renewable projects under development,” he added.

In a previous interview with the Valley Morning Star, Esteban said his company is so bullish on Cameron County because, unlike other areas, the winds here blow at night as well as day, allowing for a more even power generating schedule.

The project includes the construction of an 11-mile high-voltage line to move the power generated to the grid. The electricity will be sold on the ERCOT-South Texas wholesale market.

Acciona has three wind farms in Oklahoma, two in the Dakotas, one in Illinois and one in Iowa.

The company said the name for the new wind farm is taken from the small boat popularized by the Mexican bingo-style game Loteria.

The wind farm will be able to power up to 97,000 homes. More than 270 construction jobs were created to build it.

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