Alabama Power recognized for outstanding wind energy project

Alabama Power has received the “Outstanding Commercial Achievement Award” from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) for helping to bring cost-effective wind power to the Southeast, along with TradeWind Energy, the Kansas company from which it’s purchasing the electricity.

The association presented the award before over 400 leaders of the U.S. wind energy industry at its annual Fall Symposium, held Nov. 14-15 in Chandler, Ariz.

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company, made its first wind power purchase last year. In signing off on the contract, the state Public Service Commission noted at the time that the “price of energy from the wind facility is expected to be lower than the cost the company would incur to produce that energy from its own resource…with the resulting energy savings flowing directly to the Company’s customers.”

AWEA gives the Outstanding Commercial Achievement Award each year to the individual or company responsible for outstanding commercial achievement in the areas of new financing structures; contracting; electricity market participation and grid operations; applications of technology; community relations; landowner relations; siting; permitting; or logistics. Winners are chosen on the strength of nominations from AWEA member companies.

This year Alabama Power shared the award with the company from which it purchased its wind power, TradeWind Energy of Lenexa, Kan. TradeWind specializes in developing and managing wind energy projects in the U.S. heartland, which has a rich wind resource. TradeWind CEO Robert Freeman spoke of wind’s economic development benefits to the region.

AWEA recognized TradeWind for navigating the complexities of obtaining long-term firm transmission service across three different transmission systems, each with different timelines and processes, to reach the Southeast with its wind-generated electricity.

It then successfully aligned the schedules for power sales contracting, regulatory approvals, equipment procurement, transmission service, and financing. The company has now completed three contracts for delivery of wind energy to the Southeast using this innovative model.

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