Solar Energy Information & Resources

FOR UTILITIES

One of the Largest Renewable Energy Developers in the U.S.

Throughout our history Tradewind has partnered with investor-owned utilities, cooperatives, and municipalities to develop mutually-beneficial low-cost energy projects which directly benefit the utility’s residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers.

One of the largest independent power project development companies in the U.S., Tradewind Energy has established itself as a leading renewable energy development company that continues to be among the fastest growing developers in the nation.

We’ve earned a reputation for innovation in the market, for our highly skilled and passionate team and for our deeply held respect for the people and communities where we develop our projects.

Experienced Developer of Utility-Scale Solar

Tradewind Energy is actively developing utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects in numerous markets across the U.S. using the same development rigor we have demonstrated for over a decade. All of Tradewind Energy’s solar projects share the same general characteristics: they are situated in the best solar resource area within their respective markets, they are carefully sited to minimize environmental concerns, they are strategically located from an electrical perspective to maximize value to the customer, and their development and construction costs are managed to yield the lowest cost of delivered power possible.

Tradewind Energy sets itself apart from most of its solar development competitors by deploying on-site solar resource data collection stations to determine micro-site conditions which provide Tradewind Energy power customers and other project partners (e.g. financiers and tax equity) the highest degree of confidence that Tradewind projects will perform as planned.

Exceptional Standing within the Industry

Tradewind is recognized as a leader in the renewable energy industry. Our reputation for attending to details and building relationships throughout the development process have earned the respect of investors, suppliers, and most importantly, our customers.  We’ve been honored with the Kansas Governor’s Energy Achievement Award and bestowed the national Outstanding Commercial Achievement Award by the American Wind Energy Association. Our founders were named 2013 finalists for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award.


FOR COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL

Ambitious goals for renewable energy usage and sustainable practices are becoming the norm for businesses across all industries. Renewable energy contracts are fast becoming the standard for many companies to reach their corporate sustainability goals.

Tradewind’s portfolio of large-scale wind and solar energy projects and flexible suite of contract structures provide businesses with the options they need to manage risk and meet internal targets. We understand that every company is unique and that it takes time and education to bring internal stakeholders along when pursuing innovative ideas. Our team of energy professionals will work with you to understand your needs, develop various alternative strategies, and stay connected at whatever pace is needed.

Renewable Energy Agreements

There are a variety of alternatives for companies seeking to obtain credit for renewable energy. Some companies might want to own projects themselves at their facilities – these are often smaller in size. Others may just purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) or carbon offsets. Some companies with very large energy use even set up a wholesale power company and enter into long term power purchase agreements from new wind and solar projects, selling the output into the wholesale power markets. However, the most common arrangement is the contract-for-difference (CFD) renewable energy agreement.

The CFD enables companies to claim that additional renewable energy was developed as a result of their action, provides a steady stream of RECs to meet sustainability targets, and provides a financial hedge opportunity to take advantage of upward movements in wholesale electric power prices.

For more information on how a wind or solar project can help meet your sustainability goals or help hedge your utility costs, contact us.


FOR LANDOWNERS

At Tradewind Energy, our commitment is to listen to you, answer your questions honestly, and partner with you to make each project a joint success. We take great care to engineer and construct our projects to minimize impacts and maximize benefits for all involved, giving careful consideration to the needs of landowners and communities.

Minimal Land Use

During the array design process, we work with landowners to achieve efficient use of the land while preserving the integrity of existing infrastructure for continued operations and future uses

Standards for Setbacks

Setbacks and vegetative buffers are utilized in the design of the array for separation from buildings, roads, and other existing features.

Siting Best-Practices

Our state-of-the-art project design optimizes energy production while carefully considering environmental issues, cultural resource sensitivities, local planning criteria, and land use.

Zero Emissions

Solar energy burns no fossil fuel and requires no transportation for fuel

Our Unique Development Process.

Tradewind Energy is a turnkey developer of solar energy projects handling every aspect of a solar energy project. Our experienced team of developers is comprised of engineers, meteorologists, biologists, and GIS specialists.

We take each new project through our state-of-the-art development process. Listed below are the main phases you can expect in the development of solar power on your property. We will be there to assist you every step of the way.

1.  Initial Site Assessment

Our work begins long before you see any infrastructure on the ground, and often before you first hear from us. We continuously conduct research to find locations that have the right combination of high solar resource, topographic relief, elevation, proximity to existing electrical infrastructure, environmental suitability, compatible land use, and more.

2. Land Leasing

Once we have identified a site we believe can become a viable project, we approach landowners to discuss a long-term lease agreement for the right to develop a solar project on their property.

Projects often take many years from inception to construction, so we typically seek a development term that will allow us ample time to obtain all the site data, permits, environmental studies, and customer agreements needed to complete the project. After construction, solar projects are expected to operate a minimum of 20-30 years.

3. Data and Analysis

One of our first development activities is to install meteorological towers with pyranometers to assess the solar resource on the proposed site. This process generally takes 1-3 years as the validation of the solar resource determines the viability of the project, the risk assessments of our financial partners, and the price of the energy.

4. Detailed Assessment

Once we have adequately assessed the solar resource at a potential site and conclude the site is viable, we begin to evaluate all aspects of the project design. This includes a detailed environmental survey, an electrical interconnection study to determine how the project will link with the local transmission system, positioning of the array across the site, and a detailed construction plan. In addition, we begin the process of obtaining all the necessary federal, state and local permits, working closely with all stakeholders throughout the process.

5. Contracting, Financing, and Equipment Procurement

Most solar projects require a contract with one or more electric power companies or commercial customers to purchase the output from the project before proceeding to construction. In some cases where the power market conditions are right, a project may partially be built as a “merchant” facility, selling power in the traded market without a contracted long term buyer. Enel, our investment partner, provides financing for the procurement of panels and balance of plant construction costs.

In some cases, the utility itself may wish to own the solar project, so we offer a variety of flexible financial structures to meet their needs.

6. Project Completion and Maintenance

The construction phase involves building roads and other non-permanent site improvements to allow for construction mobilization and array installation. The construction of the array includes steel piles driven in the ground, installation of the solar panels, and other electrical infrastructure and interconnection facilities. The actual construction timeline is a relatively short period typically lasting 3 to 9 months. The array is then tested and commissioned. From that point on, with regular maintenance, the array will produce clean, renewable electric power for thousands of households for at least 20 years. Our projects typically have an operations and maintenance facility and full-time staff on hand to ensure reliable operations. Each project is also monitored remotely around-the-clock from a 24/7/365 operations center.