Old California Wind Farm Gets A Power Upgrade

Each new 2.05-megawatt (MW) wind turbine will do the work of about 20 of the old 100-kilowatt (kW) turbines they replace at a California wind farm originally built in 1989.

Fifty new 2.05-MW turbines will replace the original 100-kW turbines at the site of the Birds Landing, Calif., wind farm built by U.S. Windpower in the early years of wind development for one of the oldest U.S. wind power developers, enXco.


image via Shutterstock

The original wind farm was one of the first generation of California wind farms, with the smaller and faster-spinning turbines of the day.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently approved the 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for power from the new project, which will give the wind farm an installed capacity of 102.5 MW.

With the PPA approved, construction is set to begin right away, and the whole farm should be installed within the year. Since it was an existing wind farm, it has no further environmental review requirement, so the new wind farm is expected to be shipping power by 2013.

Under the PPA, the Shiloh IV Wind Project, part of enXco’s Shiloh wind farms in the windy Sacramento River Delta, will be supplying 100 percent of the power needed for 40,000 average California homes for the next 25 years.

“Repowering older projects is increasingly an important part of our project development portfolio as legacy projects of California built in the 1980s reach the end of their efficient life,” said Mark Tholke, vice president for enXco’s southwest region, in the press release. “enXco Service Corp’s wind technicians have done an outstanding job of keeping these machines operating in optimal condition.”

Two of the older turbines will be donated to the Rio Vista High School’s Green Jobs Program. The Green Jobs Program was established by enXco and the River Delta Unified School District to give high schoolers a taste of what’s in store if they choose careers in the green energy industry.

Susan Kraemer enjoys writing to publicize the many great solutions for climate change that we can find if we just put our minds to it. She covers renewable policy and clean energy for CleanTechnica and GreenProphet and green building at HomeDesignFind. She recently moved home to Waiheke Island where her writing is now powered by the 80% renewable electricity that powers New Zealand.

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