February 27 - BNSF Logistics (BNSFL) and Tri Global Energy (TGE) have signed a formal agreement to align resources, market knowledge and industry relationships to support BNSFL's development of its West Texas Wind Energy Logistics Center (WTWLC).

The agreement will optimise capacity, routing of turbine components and drive greater volumes through a major facility to reduce costs on a per unit basis.

"Aligning the infrastructure, resources and vision that BNSFL has for capacity and service to the wind energy industry with TGE, a preeminent developer in the dynamic West Texas region, will allow us to fast track development and ultimately deliver the improved economies that the industry covets," explained BNSF Logistics' chief marketing officer, Jim Craig.

With cost per megawatt getting closer to a level that will make wind energy developers less reliant upon subsidies or tax credits, any additional savings that identified in the supply chain is considered critical.

During 2013, TGE said it would begin work on the largest community-sponsored wind farm project to date in the United States.  TGE has 16 planned projects in various stages of development in the region and has more than 640,000 acres under lease for current and future wind farm development.

As a result of its new agreement with TGE, BNSF has accelerated plans to develop its WTWLC further. Initially, a 40-acre (16.2 ha) site will be used to support TGE's wind farm development, with the option of upgrading to a 200-acre (81 ha) site. The facility will be receiving, storing and loading out hundreds of turbine components each month, receiving components via both rail as well as truck, said BNSF.

BNSF Logistics' president, Ray Greer, added: "BNSF Logistics was very active in wind energy in 2011 and 2012 and we are fully prepared to take our participation to the next level in 2014-15.  We are committed to meeting the unique needs of the wind energy industry and our agreement with Tri Global is a strong vote of confidence in our approach".