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The context

The Sterling plant is a wind power plant situated in Lea County, New Mexico, in the United States, and is in operation since July 2017. It is the first plant of Akuo that has reached financial closing and operation in the United States. With its 13 General Electric (GE) wind turbines of 2.3 MW each, assembled on a 116 meters rotor diameter at a hub height of 80 meters, the plant has a total power capacity of 29.9 MW.

The commissioning of the plant is the result of partnerships with local actors, which has allowed a strong complementarity of expertise. Indeed, the construction was financed by BayernLB for the construction loan, GE Energy Financial Services for the tax equity portion, which also provided wind turbines, and the international group John Laing, which provided additional equity alongside Akuo USA.


Furthermore, the renewable energy produced at that site is sold to the local electric coop utility, Lea County Electric, member of Wester Farmers Electric Coop. The park's connection point to the Lea County electric is located on site, minimizing transmission losses.

Bret Sterling, an early adopter to the wind industry, leased his ranch in New Mexico in 2008, to transform the abundant wind resource in the great plains into energy. Because the collaboration has been so successful, Akuo and Bret Sterling are considering building more projects together in other locations throughout the United States.

Finally, Akuo signed a 15-year purchase agreement with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) in early 2016, which buys back 100% of the renewable electricity produced. Founded 75 years ago and with 21 member cooperatives, WFEC is a key player in the regional electricity market and a leader in renewable energy deployment.

Les vignes

Local approach and commitment to the territory

The Sterling plant is one of the first wind plants in the US to have successfully obtained a permit from US Fish and Wildlife Services from the mitigation effort provided by the project in relation to the Golden Eagle population.


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