Wind repowering: Working with a seamless team sets up savings and success into the future

By: Courtney Schmidt, Senior Director

Leonard Powell, Associate Director

David Greer, Project Manager

 

The advantages of wind are well established in that it offers a clean, consistent, and cost-effective source of renewable energy. Many wind energy facility owners are realizing turbines and equipment are now aging since their initial development, and the added incentives offered by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provide a timely driver of change. By replacing the turbines and blades through a wind repower, there is significant potential for increased output and continued performance without the full development process of a new site.

Beyond the direct value delivered with greater efficiency and performance, Atwell has guided clients through the development process providing, a comprehensive range of services in a simplified, coordinated manner. Our team specializes in providing a complete development solution, ensuring compliance with all relevant environmental regulations, landowner engagement to secure new entitlements, engineering, and survey review of repower plans and work with local authorities and communities to address any questions while meeting project goals from concept to completion.

Upgrades today can offer long-term benefits for owners

Wind repowers are a large focus today given the extension of the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC). Repower opportunities include tax incentives, capitalizing on fossil fuel retirements, and delaying new generation with increased yield through repower technological advancements. Tax credit qualification, Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) negotiations, and utility rate cases play a significant role in decision-making, alongside technical factors like component compatibility and extreme weather events. Interconnection and permitting can impact project timelines and costs.

Atwell brings extensive expertise to repower projects across multiple service groups. With more than 500 wind projects completed, totaling more than 20 gigawatts throughout the United States and Canada, our development experience is unparalleled. In the realm of repower projects, we’ve successfully managed over 1,100 megawatts across key states including Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Our suite of services caters specifically to the needs of repower initiatives. From program and development services providing expert guidance, to land services facilitating lease amendments and waivers, we ensure smooth project progression.

Our environmental services encompass studies, permitting, and comprehensive environmental support to maintain compliance. Engineering services, including road engineering, structural analysis, and owners engineering, optimize project design and performance. Finally, our survey services, offering updated ALTA and topo surveys, provide precise site data essential for project planning and development. Atwell stands as a trusted partner, delivering comprehensive solutions for successful repower endeavors.

What to expect?

Embarking on a wind repower project requires meticulous planning and expert execution across various critical stages. Atwell’s process begins with a thorough desktop review, focusing keenly on existing infrastructure, proposed routes, and project areas, all analyzed with the aid of GIS technology. Following this, our team assists in asset valuation, providing robust support throughout the analysis phase. With a Program Manager at the helm, communication remains seamless, schedules are managed, and quality performance is ensured.

Environmental and permitting considerations are paramount in our approach, covering everything from field reconnaissance and wildlife conservation strategies to sound level and shadow flicker modeling. Atwell handles all permitting requirements, guiding you through the application process. In the realm of real estate, our Land Services Associates and Project Managers navigate agreements, conduct thorough deed research, and facilitate necessary waivers and amendments.

Engineering evaluations, aerial mapping, and the creation of detailed Request for Proposal (RFP) documents tailored to each project’s unique specifications round out our comprehensive suite of services.

Generating efficiency with streamlined planning and expertise

With the wide array of efforts required in a wind repower project, it can be a challenge to bring together and coordinate the planning and execution. While many firms can successfully execute pieces of an effort, the risk of singular focus on their own tasks creates puts the project in jeopardy when important details fall through the cracks.

Atwell leverages our national team experience within a strong program management framework to ensure that each step is completed according to the development plan. We go beyond the foundational deliverable needs to support our clients by ensuring that documentation is centralized and completed in a way that allows clients to meet any current requirements and leverage the work done as a forward-looking conservation and development resource. Atwell has guided its clients through the repower development process, offering a comprehensive range of services and programmatic support tailored to their unique needs and project requirements.

This type of value-add approach is just one way that we partner with our clients to deliver the greatest possible return on investment.

Environmental, Power & Energy
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