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First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, has achieved record growth in 2013 by securing commitments for some 750 MW in new renewable energy projects.

In 2014, First Wind started construction on its first solar project in the town of Warren, Massachusetts. Pictured here from a groundbreaking ceremony held in November 2013 (from left to right): Paul Pace, SVP KeyBank; Mass. secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard K. Sullivan Jr.; Paul Gaynor, chief executive officer of First Wind; Mass. State Senator Stephen M. Brewer; Congressman Richard E. Neal; Mass. State Representative Todd M. Smola; and Joe Harrison, Sr. Project Developer, Borrego Solar. (Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper / First Wind)

At the start of 2013, following the extension of the federal tax credits, First Wind announced that it planned to increase its operating portfolio of wind projects by 50 percent. By adding nearly 600 MW in planned new wind projects to the company’s 1,000 MW operating portfolio, First Wind was able to surpass those projections. In addition, the company has added solar power to its portfolio, and will complete 17 MW (AC) of solar projects by the summer and has another 150 MW of solar projects in late stages of development.

Following is a recap of some of the notable highlights for First Wind during 2013:

  • New megawatts qualified for tax credits – First Wind qualified nearly 600 MW of new wind capacity under the wind energy Production Tax Credit that was extended in January 2013.
  • Long-term PPAs for cost-competitive renewable energy – First Wind secured long-term power purchase agreements for wind and solar projects, including four Maine wind projects and solar projects in Massachusetts. In total, First Wind secured over 20 separate PPAs with utilities for planned wind projects and solar projects.
  • First project in Texas – In the fall of 2013, First Wind acquired the Route 66 Wind project near Amarillo, Texas. The planned 150 MW project, when built, is expected to deliver power to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas power markets through the new Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission system.
  • Successful expansion into solar – The start of construction of 17 MW in solar projects represented the company’s first set of renewable energy projects in its home state of Massachusetts and its first solar development. First Wind also has approximately 150 MW of solar projects in late stage development.

    Published in the April 2014 Edition of American Recycler News