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Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, has announced it will build two large-scale wind power facilities in South Texas.

The company will build, own and operate the Los Vientos III and IV wind power projects, sited approximately 100 miles west of Brownsville near Rio Grande City in Starr County. The company says each farm will produce 200 MW of electricity.

Austin Energy will purchase the output and associated renewable energy credits from the wind farms under two 25-year agreements. Austin Energy also purchases the power from Duke Energy Renewables' Los Vientos II project in Willacy and Cameron counties.

"Austin Energy has among the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the country, and these two new wind projects with Duke Energy will help us meet our 35 percent renewable energy goal four years ahead of schedule," says Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis. "They will also help push our wind portfolio to more than 1,000 MW, which is nearly a third of our total generation."

Duke Energy Renewables says it will begin construction of the projects in the fourth quarter of this year, with an in-service date expected in early 2015 for Los Vientos III and mid-2016 for Los Vientos IV.

According to the company, once in operation, the 400 MW produced by Los Vientos III and IV will bring Duke Energy's total wind-generated capacity to more than 2 GW.

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