- Invest directly in ownership of a wind or solar energy project (either at company sites or from a grid-connected source),
- Purchase the physical output from a wind or solar energy project, or
- Enter into a financial contract that delivers renewable energy credits and provides a hedge against rising power costs.
One of the Largest Independent Wind Developers in the U.S.
Throughout our history Tradewind has partnered with investor-owned utilities, cooperatives, and municipalities to develop mutually-beneficial low-cost wind energy projects which directly benefit the utility’s residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers.
One of the largest independent wind project development companies in the U.S., Tradewind Energy has established itself as a leading wind 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 environment and the people and communities where we develop our projects.
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.
Proven, Cutting-Edge Project Team
Tradewind’s success is built upon the experience and expertise of its management team and professional staff. We offer specialized expertise in project development and engineering, interconnection and transmission, meteorology, environmental studies and permitting, field services, financial analysis, and GIS.
Tradewind was the first developer to successfully clear all of the hurdles required to deliver wind energy from the Midwest (Kansas and Oklahoma) to Southeast utility customers (Alabama Power Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority) on a firm, physical basis. And we continue to lead the way for wind development through innovation and passion to develop sustainable, abundant and affordable electricity for the nation.
FOR COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL
Increasing numbers of commercial and industrial (C&I) businesses are looking to renewable energy as a way to mitigate the threat of rising energy costs and to reach corporate goals related to sustainability and emissions reduction. Wind and solar energy are uniquely capable of providing a hedge against future costs of power due to the absence of fuel costs. Wind energy is the least cost new generation technology available in the market, and as an on-peak resource, solar is at or approaching wholesale power costs in many parts of the country. There are three options C&I businesses can consider, depending on their location, financials, and energy usage:
Our wind and solar energy experts will be happy to discuss these various options with you to answer any questions and determine what might be the best solution for your needs.
Energy Hedge Contracts
There are a variety of energy hedges which enable C&I customers to take advantage of clean, low-priced renewable energy development. Renewable energy is uniquely capable of providing a financial hedge against rising natural gas costs and electric power rates. This is because wind and solar projects have no fuel costs. The basic concept of a renewable energy hedge is that the customer pays a fixed price for the renewable power. The power is then sold into the wholesale market. As wholesale prices rise with rising natural gas and other costs (EPA/regulatory influences etc.) then the customer reaps the financial benefit of the rising costs, which provides a hedge against any commensurate rise of their energy costs. A Contract for Differences (CFD) Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is one such energy hedge which allows commercial and industrial end-user customers to reap the economic and environmental benefits associated with renewable development without the need to directly purchase, own, or take delivery of wholesale energy. In a CFD, all renewable energy credits (RECs) are transferred to, and owned by, the C&I customer. A CFD energy hedge also affords C&I customers significant revenue upside potential whenever a Project’s wholesale nodal market price exceeds its fixed renewable energy PPA price. The visual below captures the basic concept and value-proposition of a CFD renewable energy hedge:
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
Turbines, roads and other facilities require just 1-2% of your land.
Standards for Turbine Setbacks
Setbacks are utilized in the design of the turbine array for separation from buildings, roads, and other existing features.
Our state-of-the-art project design optimizes wind energy production while carefully considering environmental issues, cultural resource sensitivities, local planning criteria, and land use.
No Impact on Grazing or Farming
Turbines are not fenced in and do not affect livestock or crops.
Wind energy burns no fossil fuel and requires no transportation for fuel.
Our Unique Development Process.
Tradewind Energy is a turnkey developer of wind energy projects. That means we can handle every aspect of any wind energy project. Our experienced team of wind developers is comprised of engineers, meteorologists, biologists, and GIS specialists.
We take each new project through our state-of-the-art wind development process. Listed below are the main phases you can expect in the development of wind 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 turbines spinning in the air, and often before you first hear from us. We continuously conduct research to find locations that have the right combination of consistent wind, topographic relief, elevation, proximity to high voltage transmission lines, 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 wind rights 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 wind data, permits, environmental studies, and customer agreements needed to complete the project. After construction, wind projects are expected to operate a minimum of 20-30 years.
3. Wind Measurement and Analysis
One of our first development activities is to install meteorological towers with anemometers and wind vanes to assess the wind on the proposed site. This process generally takes 1-3 years as the validation of the wind resource determines the viability of the project, the risk assessments of our financial partners, and the price of the energy. We collect and study wind speeds, wind direction, air density, and other data at multiple locations across each site.
4. Detailed Assessment
Once we have adequately assessed the wind 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 high voltage transmission system, positioning of each turbine 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 wind projects in the Midwest require a contract with one or more electric power companies to purchase the output from the wind project before proceeding to construction. In some cases where the power market conditions are right, a project may be built as a “merchant” facility, selling power in the traded market without a long term buyer. TradeWind will source an investment partner for the project that provides financing for the procurement of turbines, transformers and other equipment, as well as for the entire construction process.
In some cases, the utility itself may wish to own the wind 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 foundations for the towers, and constructing the substation and interconnection facilities. The time spent in actual tower erection and assembly of the turbines is relatively short. The turbines are then tested and commissioned. From that point on, with regular maintenance, they will produce clean, renewable electric power for thousands of households for at least 20 years. Our projects 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 our 24/7/365 operations center.