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Giant California Wind Park Gets $110m Boost From Google And Citi

Giant California Wind Park Gets $110m Boost From Google And Citi

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

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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Image Credit: Flickr - btsiders

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10:20PM PST on Nov 17, 2011

I wish people would use a bit of logic and think before they condemn things llike windmills over bird safety. I live in Palm Springs and we have hundreds of windmills on the valley floor and on the mountainsides because we have a lot of wind through the pass.

I don't doubt that an occasional bird has hit a blade and died, but it simply cannot be the problem some make it out to be. First of all, the windmills are huge. Their blades are huge. They don't turn very fast in even the strongest winds. Birds have excellent vision and they can see these blades long before they reach them, even in the dark because the blades are large and white. In general, birds are much smarter than you are giving them credit for. And someone said something like the windmills destroy habitat with cement all around them. Not so, at all. They have a relatively small footprint (roughly 12 or 15 feet diameter) and the ground around them is only altered to the degree needed to get vehicles there for occasional maintenance.

Far more birds and other animals are killed by vehicles than could possibly be killed by windmill blades. Someone said something like, "They fly where there were no windmills and don't know how to avoid them." Please! Birds are NOT that stupid! They see a large object in their flight path and they correct for it, or they wouldn't have survived as long as they have.

12:35PM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

That's what we need. Clean energy forever !!!

11:46AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

good news thank you google.

7:58PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

That's GOOD!!!

2:20PM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

good news, any little bit helps, but I can't wait until we can have more home wind/solar for individuals....

10:13AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

This is great, but we should work on putting solar and small wind on every home and buissness in the USA. This would allow us to close all our dirty coal plants and improve the air quality.

3:51PM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

Great news we need that real clean energy renewable technology so that we don't end up living in a polluted nuclear wasteland. They have put new technology in them so that there are very few bird kills now.

3:19PM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

Agreed Jim! It's a better source of energy but there needs to be some kind of standards on it's impact on the world around it! In the mean time there are still better alternatives that could be looked into if only there was enough funding to do so.

10:53AM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

these windmills are still creating loss of habitat and are a danger to birds. the most they could do is put screens around the fans like they do in portable fans. that would stop the birds from being guillotined. migrating flocks passing through can't imagine that the land they've known for eons is now like a meat grinder. below we have a cement city that no reptile and phibian would welcome as habitat.

6:30AM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

Thanks for posting this feel good article!

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Very informative; had no idea! Thank you.

The Wild of wildlife has managed itself quite well for centuries. It never needed man-unkind to do this.…

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