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Pattern Energy starts operating 113MW Sumita Tono wind farm
Facility harnesses strong westerly winds in Kitakami Mountains to provide clean power for 47,000 households
Michael Marray 17 May 2023

Pattern Energy, through its Japanese affiliate Green Power Investment Corporation (GPI), has started operating its 113-megawatt Sumita Tono wind farm in the mountainous area between the municipalities of Tono and Sumita in Iwate Prefecture.

Pattern Energy, based in San Francisco, California, is one of the world’s largest privately-owned developers and operators of wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects. Its operational portfolio includes 36 renewable energy facilities with an operating capacity of nearly 6,000MW in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico.

“Sumita Tono is a best-in-class facility that is now harnessing the strong westerly winds of the Kitakami Mountains to provide clean power for 47,000 households in Japan,” says Pattern Energy chief executive officer Hunter Armistead. 

This is Pattern and GPI’s fourth development project in Japan. Sumita Tono Wind utilizes 27 Vestas 4.2MW wind turbines. The project has a 20-year feed-in-tariff power purchase agreement with Tohoku Electric Power Network for 100% of its power output.

GPI and its affiliates will be responsible for the long-term operation and maintenance of the facility with Vestas providing wind turbine maintenance.

Including Sumita Tono Wind, Pattern Energy has eight renewable energy projects in Japan, which it is either operating or is under construction. These include four onshore wind power facilities and two solar power facilities in operation, as well as an offshore wind facility and an onshore wind farm under construction.

GPI is a Japanese developer, owner and operator of renewable energy assets. The founder of GPI, Toshio Hori, was one of the earliest pioneers in renewable energy, having built some of the first large-scale wind power projects in Japan, the US and Europe.

Tokyo-headquartered GPI has a development portfolio of more than 4 gigawatts of wind capacity. Pattern Energy holds a majority interest in GPI.

Largest wind project in Western Hemisphere

Meanwhile, Pattern Energy has signed long-term power purchase agreements with Shell Energy North America and the Regents of the University of California, for a portion of the power from its SunZia Wind project, the largest project of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Construction of SunZia Wind is expected to start later this year and be completed in 2026, when it will start delivering power to western energy markets.

Quanta Services and Hitachi Energy have been selected to build the transmission network and wind facility for the project, which will enable access to over 3,500MW of wind power from Torrance, Lincoln, and San Miguel counties in New Mexico.

SunZia Transmission is a 550-mile ± 525 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line between central New Mexico and south-central Arizona. It will enable SunZia Wind to supply customers in Arizona and California during the crucial early evening hours when demand is high but the otherwise available renewable energy supply is low.

The transmission and wind projects are expected to generate US$20.5 billion in economic benefits, including over US$8 billion of direct capital investment, at no added cost to ratepayers, according to the results of an independent study conducted by research firm Energy, Economic & Environment Consultants.

Together, the projects will generate an expected US$1.3 billion in fiscal impacts that will go to governments, communities, and schools. These benefits are generated through sales and use taxes, property taxes, community benefit payments, and land payments to federal and state agencies.

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