Solano 4 Wind Project
As your community-owned, not-for-profit electric utility, we're committed to providing you with affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible power. To support our commitment, we're planning a new project at our Solano Wind Farm.
The project, called Solano 4 Wind, includes replacing existing wind turbines with up to 22 new modern turbines. This would generate 92 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to deliver to the electric grid.
Construction is expected to begin late in 2020 and be completed in early 2022. Learn more about the project and how you can provide your input below.
The Solano 4 Wind Project would be located on 5,900 acres of land in the Collinsville-Montezuma Hills Wind Resource Area in Solano County. The re-power project includes the decommissioning of an existing wind project and the replacement of existing older wind turbines with larger modern turbines within Solano 4 East (881 acres) and Solano 4 West (1,390 acres). SMUD is constructing 9 turbines in the east and 10 in the west. Solano 4 wind turbines are 150 meters in blade diameter and produce 4.5 MW of power each.
The electricity generated would bring our Wind Farm’s production to 307 MW. Output from the project would be delivered to the electric grid through the existing Russel Substation in Solano County. The power generated would count toward the State of California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, helping SMUD reach 60% renewable energy by 2025.
Ten separate wind energy facilities (including SMUD’s existing three Solano Wind Project phases) currently operate in the area. The area is not only home to wind farms, it also has a long and continued history of farming and ranching.
Existing wind turbines would be replaced with fewer wind turbines with a maximum height of 492 to 590 feet and a maximum rotor diameter of 446 to 492 feet. As a result, we would realize a significant improvement in energy yield. Access roads and collection lines would be installed to support the new turbines. Final turbine locations and heights will be determined after we complete the engineer and construct procurement process.
Existing public and new private roads would be used to transport equipment and turbine components to the Solano 4 project site. They would also provide access for routine operation and maintenance. Due to the size of the turbine parts, they would likely be transported by rail from the manufacturer, offloaded to a yard and loaded on tractor trailers to be moved to the site. It may be necessary to improve existing public roads or utilize areas adjacent to the roads during construction to accommodate transportation of materials.
We are currently in the Project Development stage of the project, which involves feasibility analysis, land acquisition, permitting and obtaining interconnection.
The project would provide a source of low-cost renewable energy. It contributes to our goal of embracing a carbon-free future by adding more than 300 GWh of renewable energy and would allow an aging fleet of wind turbines to be replaced with the latest and most efficient technology. Re-powering the wind turbines allows the Wind Farm to continue to produce important renewable resources for another 30 years, while also providing local, high-paying jobs and economic benefits to the community.
SMUD is a long-standing member of the Solano County community. We're committed to working closely with stakeholders and residents to minimize any project impacts.
As a member of the area Chamber of Commerce, we continue to work with our partners to support community efforts and events, agriculture and land conservation to benefit the region. We'll continue to distribute information and hold community meetings during critical phases of the project to keep the community informed and provide opportunity for input.
With this project, we hope to achieve the following objectives:
- Contribute to a diversified energy portfolio that will aid in the continued improvement of air quality in the Sacramento air basin by decreasing reliance on fossil fuel combustion for the generation of electricity
- Assist SMUD in achieving the Board of Directors’ directive of using renewable resources to meet 50% of SMUD’s load by 2030; this goal is consistent with Senate Bill (SB) 350, which was signed into law in 2015
- Support SMUD’s ability to meet the SB100 goals of a 100% clean energy portfolio by 2045
- Develop an economically feasible wind project that will produce a reliable supply of approximately 300 GWh of renewable energy annually
- Accommodate the long-term viability of agricultural use within the Montezuma Hills