An ACCIONA-led consortium has been selected to finance, construct, operate and maintain a 48Km (30-mile) flood prevention canal between Fargo (North Dakota) and Moorhead (Minnesota). The infrastructure will divert storm water from the Red River away from nearby residential areas, which are regularly affected by flooding. The project, which is scheduled to take five years to construct, will involve a total investment of US$2.75 billion (around €2.34 billion).
The agreement between the Metro Flood Diversion Authority of Fargo-Moorhead and the selected consortium –established by ACCIONA, Shikun & Binui and North American Construction Group– includes the construction of the canal itself plus the necessary associated infrastructure, including bridges, railway crossings and aqueducts. In addition, the ACCIONA-led consortium will operate and maintain the project for a 29-year period under a public-private partnership agreement.
The flood protection canal has been designed to mitigate the impact of climate change, particularly the threat of flooding. Once completed, it will protect more than 235,000 people in the primary population areas between Fargo and Moorhead.
The Fargo-Moorhead Floodwater Diversion Project grew out of studies following the historic Red River Flood of 1997, which caused an estimated US$3.5 billion (€3 billion) in damages.
The Fargo-Moorhead channel is a complex engineering project that marks the prominent entry of ACCIONA into the concessions and construction sector in the US, where it is already present in the water and energy sectors.
In the water business, ACCIONA has constructed and operates the Tampa Bay desalination plant (Florida), one of the largest in the country, which supplies water to 2.5 million people, producing 108,000m3 of water per day. The plant came into operation in 2008 and has won various international awards in the sector.
The company has become a leading player in the country’s energy sector. It currently has 1,064MW of installed wind power across its ten wind farms in the US, as well as 64MW of installed power at the Nevada Solar One CSP plant. In December 2020, ACCIONA announced the start of operations of its largest wind farm in the country in Texas, called La Chalupa, with a 198MW capacity.
Moreover, in 2019 ACCIONA announced an agreement with US company Tenaska to acquire a portfolio of photovoltaic projects in the US, spread across seven states. The portfolio has a total nominal capacity of 3,000MW made up of large photovoltaic plants and includes 1,000MW of battery storage. The transaction incorporates 20 projects located in the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. ACCIONA plans to put eight projects from this portfolio into service before the end of 2023, adding around 1,500MW of peak power (around 1,200MW nominal) to its renewable assets portfolio in the country.
ACCIONA also recently announced an agreement with Amazon to supply clean energy in the US, constructing four new photovoltaic plants in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio.