SEBASTIAN, Texas, January 27 - North Carolina-based Duke Energy Renewables, held a ribbon cutting and open house to celebrate the start of its Los Vientos I and II windpower project in eastern Willacy County on Saturday afternoon.
The project, which was initially completed last year now places emphasis on the rural parts of the Valley as centers for job creation and energy to the state, according to local representatives with Duke. In 2012, the company commissioned five new windpower projects and three new solar projects but the wind project in Willacy is the company's only venture in the Rio Grande Valley.
According to Duke's news release, all the output and associated renewable energy credits from the 200 MW Los Vientos I Windpower Project in Willacy County are being sold to San Antonio-based CPS Energy under a 25-year agreement. Austin Energy is buying all of the output and associated renewable energy credits from the 202 MW Los Vientos II Windpower Project, sited in Willacy and Cameron Counties.
The Los Vientos projects brought 600 construction jobs to the area and will continue to boost economic development, support the local school districts, and be a source of dependable tax revenue for years to come, Duke said.
The ribbon cutting ceremony took place during the Valley Legislative Tour hosted by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership. A number of state and federal lawmakers were present for the event, including U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, state Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, and state Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City. All four represent Willacy County.