Gas, Wind

BP Wind May Upgrade Its U.S. Wind Turbines

By Editors of Power Engineering

BP Wind Energy is evaluating whether to update as many as 200 of its wind turbines in U.S. facilities with higher-capacity equipment.

If the move is approved, it would add 400 MW of capacity to BP’s wind facilities, Bloomberg reported.

Laura Folse, CEO of BP Wind Energy, said the upgrade would allow the company to both optimize Texas and Kansas wind facilities and capitalize on production tax credits. BP put an initial investment for replacement turbine parts down in December in order to qualify for the full tax credit, which begins decreasing this year.

Upgrades would involve replacing older equipment while keeping existing towers and foundations. Not only would that improve capacity, it would lower operating costs and allow the facilities to better competed against natural gas-fired power.

Though BP has the largest wind business of all major oil companies, the last of its 14 wind facilities were built in 2012, and none are under construction. The last to come online was Trinity Hills near Olney, Texas.

BP tried to sell its wind business in 2013, but didn’t find a suitable buyer.