State officials hope a recent $110 million joint investment from Google and Citi will breathe some new life into California’s struggling wind industry.
Terra-Gen Power recieved $55 million from each company as a leveraged lease and will use the funding to expand capacity at the Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) wind farm in California’s Tehachapi Mountains.
Just a few years ago, turbines in California generated 90 percent of the world’s wind power with thousands of hilltop turbines from Palm Springs to San Francisco. But permitting delays and expiring government incentives have caused California to lose its title as the world’s capital for wind power, according to The Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Thanks to the new funding, AWEC will someday have an ultimate capacity of 1.55GW — double the capacity of the largest wind energy installation now operating in the US and large enough to supply 1.2 million people with clean power, reports NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com.
A statement by Google said, “We’re always looking for projects that are uniquely positioned to transform our energy sector. As part of the new 4.5GW Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, AWEC uses some of the first transmission lines developed specifically to transport renewable energy from remote, resource-rich areas — like the Mojave — to major population centres.”
A huge consumer of domestic energy, Google has pumped at least $400 million into alternative energy projects, including an Oregon wind farm and an offshore transmission project on the East Coast. The company has also plunged $168 million into BrightSource’s Ivanpah solar installation (Daily Hampshire Gazette).
The Alta Wind project, which is being built in phases, will eventually generate enough to power 450,000 homes through Southern California Edison, the companies said in a joint statement.
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