Helena Energy Center


Located in Bee County, Texas, the approximately 518 MWAC Helena Energy Center will have the capability to power over 140,000 homes over the course of a year and help meet the energy needs of Texas during peak demand periods by providing reliable and flexible wind and solar-powered electricity.

Ørsted has invested more than $1.8 billion in five wind energy projects in operation and one solar energy project under construction across the State of Texas. With a decade of experience through our development team in Austin, Ørsted has a reputation for being a trusted community partner and using best practice standards to construct the facility and protect the surrounding property for future generations. The project has the potential to be a long-term asset for Ørsted and the Bee County community.

The Helena Energy Center, comprised of a co-located wind farm and solar center, represents a nearly half billion dollar investment in Bee County and will generate tens of millions in tax revenue that will enhance County and School services without raising taxes.

$500 million

- Why Bee County


Strong coastal winds during the afternoon and in the summer, coupled with the significant solar resource during the day, make Bee County unique. The combination of the solar and wind, will bring electricity onto Texas's primary grid right when Texans need it most.
   
Location:
Bee County, Texas
Capacity:
518 MWAC
Owner & Developer:
Ørsted Onshore North America
Market Value:   
$495 million
Interconnection via:
American Electric Power (AEP)
Operations:
Estimated Q2 2022
 
Helena Energy Center site map
Onshore wind technician
Construction timeline
June – August 2021
Site & Construction Preparation
June – September 2021
Public Road Improvements
Collection System Installation
July – October 2021
Foundation Pours
Substation and Transmission System Construction
September 2021 – Februrary 2022
Turbine Erection
November 2021 – February 2022
O&M Construction
January -March 2022
Restoration Activities
April – June 2022
Energization & Commissioning

The wind farm

Construction of the project is anticipated to take between 9 and 12 months and will be performed by Blattner Energy and ECI. The Helena Wind Farm is expected to be fully operational by July 2022. Once operational, the project will provide low-cost electricty during peak demand periods to the South ERCOT service territory. The phases of construction are highlighted to the right. Schedule subject to change.

Capacity: 268 MWAC
Annual Production: Enough to power 90,000 homes
Technology: Vestas turbines
Total # of turbines: 66
Total Acres: ~15,000
Jobs created during construction: approx 200 – 300 workers

For weekly construction updates see our Facebook page

Solar close up
Construction timeline
March 2021
Site Preparation
March – August 2021
Clearing and Civil Work
June 2021 – April 2022
Piles and Racking Equipment
July – November 2021
Collection System Installation
August – December 2021
Substation and Transmission System Construction
June – December 2021
Operations and Maintenance Building
March – June 2022
Energization and Commissioning

The solar center

Construction of the project is anticipated to take between 12 and 14 months and will be performed by Blattner Energy. The Sparta Solar Center is expected to be fully operational by June 2022. Once operational, the project will provide low-cost electricity during peak demand periods to the [region] ERCOT service territory. The phases of construction are highlighted to the right. Schedule subject to change.

Capacity: 250MWAC
Annual Production: >550,000 MWh
Technology: Mono crystalline photovoltaic bifacial panels from Tier 1 suppliers
Total # of panels: Estimated 600,000
Jobs created during construction: approx 200 – 300 workers

For weekly construction updates see our Facebook page

 
 
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Community Impact


Throughout Texas, wind and solar energy projects are transforming rural economies, which enhances the quality of life and opportunities in a community. Ørsted is not only committed to being good stewards of the land, but also to the environment in which our neighbors live, work and raise a family.

A wind energy investment has no significant long-term adverse impact to local property values, and can actually increase value, according to the most recent (2019) survey of wind farm impacts compiled by the Texas A&M University Real Estate Center.

 

The developer’s infusion of fresh capital during the construction cycle of about two years will give our local economy the time it needs to recover from oil and gas sector’s slowdown.


– Michael R. Manning, landowner 

 

 

Supporting Bee County Leaders


Local support and collaboration are critical to the successful development of a project of this magnitude. We are proud and honored to have the support of many members of the community and local property owners who have already shared their support in numerous ways. These supporters are in addition to more than 180 registered Bee County households that responded to a phone survey and indicated support for the project to support economic development in the community.

 

Tindol Construction is a local contractor right here in Beeville, Texas and we support the development of the Helena Wind Project and jobs for Bee County.


– Garrett Tindol, local contractor

 

 

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Renewable Energy in Texas

Throughout the country and especially in Texas, wind energy has steadily increased its contribution to and percentage of our energy mix. Texas leads the nation in wind energy production due to its statewide market for energy, extensive land availability, and transmission buildout. Wind energy provides clean and affordable energy that contributes to Texas’s energy independence and security.

In addition, solar is posed to be the next frontier of Texas’ ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy. Solar is prepared to compete at an unprecedented scale. Solar is helping Texas meet its growing demand for electricity. While electricity growth is flat in much of the country, it is growing in Texas due to oil & gas and industrial activity, especially during peak hours.


Benefits of partnering with Ørsted

As a long-term operator of solar and wind projects, Ørsted is committed to the highest quality standards of project construction and safety. This starts with the first steps of development and lasts until the project is decommissioned.

Examples:

  • Procurement of wind turbines and solar panels from Tier 1 manufacturers that adhere to the highest quality standards
  • Local procurement of materials and local hiring, when possible
  • Highest safety and construction standards
  • Deployment of Operation & Maintenance staff to ensure site safety and peak performance
  • 24/7 system monitoring to track performance and proactively detect any issues
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Stewardship of the Land

Land Restoration

Texas law governing wind farm leases specify termination rights and restoration. Upon termination or project completion, Ørsted will remove facilities down to 3 feet below grade
Ørsted is dedicated to being a good steward of the land, and developing, constructing, and operating a safe and reliable wind and solar energy system. During construction and throughout project operations, Ørsted prioritizes best in class site management, safety, and security. Ørsted understands the importance native grasslands to Bee County, both to promote habitat conservation and in keeping with the County’s history.
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Renewable Energy’s Impact on Wildlife

As part of project development, a full suite of environmental studies will be performed to identify any potential environmental impacts from both the wind and solar component of the energy center. These studies will impact the layout and design of the project as to minimize and mitigate any potential environmental impacts.

Wind is responsible for less than 0.01 percent (1 in 10,000) of all human related bird deaths. By comparison, domestic cats, per data from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Audubon Society, are responsible for over 70% of all human related bird deaths.

Utility-scale solar facilities are a highly productive, low-impact use of property. Installing ground-mounted solar arrays on undeveloped land can preserve the permeable nature and character of the land surface including natural vegetation that is habitat for local species, as compared to other types of development.

Ørsted is a partner of the American Wind Wildlife Institute.

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About Ørsted

Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants, and provides energy products to its customers. Ørsted ranks as the world’s most sustainable energy company in Corporate Knights' 2021 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognized on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 6,179 people. Ørsted's shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2020, the group's revenue was DKK 52.6 billion (USD 8.1 billion).

Questions or concerns

The project team would like to hear from you should you have any questions or concerns about the Helena Energy Center. You can fill out the form below with your comments and a team member will get back to you.