California Wind Energy Nets $1.2 Billion

Four wind power projects in California collectively called the Alta Wind Energy Center are moving forward now that renewable energy company Terra-Gen Power has secured $1.2 billion in financing for construction and wind turbine orders. The four projects, to be known as Alta Projects II-V, will produce 570 megawatts (MW) of capacity which, along with the 150 MW Alta Project I, move the Alta Wind Energy Center further along as a a 3,000 MW wind power development initiative.

Construction on these new projects will kick off immediately, with Terra-Gen Power saying it anticipates commercial operation in the first and second quarters of 2011. Of the 3,000 MW the total system will eventually produce, 1,550 MW will fulfill a power purchase agreement signed with Southern California Edison in 2006. With 720 MW of wind power, the initial five projects will increase the installed wind capacity in California by more than 25%, which is said to provide enough renewable energy for up to 200,000 homes.

Alta Wind Energy

image via Terra-Gen Power

It is believed that the Alta Wind Energy Center, once completed, will be the largest wind energy farm in the nation. The most current projects being developed will make use of 190 V90-3.0 MW turbines manufactured by Vestas-American Wind Technology. A variety of financial institutions were involved in the backing of this, including Citi, Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse.

“We are delighted to have closed this financing and to be working with Vestas and GE on the Alta projects. The project represents an important expansion of the renewable generating base of California and helps us advance our nation’s goals of achieving energy independence in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Jim Pagano, CEO of Terra-Gen, in a statement. “The Alta projects I-V will create more than 1,500 domestic manufacturing, construction and operation and maintenance jobs, and inject more than $600 million into the local economy. We are grateful to Kern County, the State of California, the U.S. Congress, and the Treasury Department for their supportive renewable energy policies, without which ambitious projects like the Alta Wind Energy Center would simply not be possible.”

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I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.