Alta Wind Energy Center
|Alta Wind Energy Center|
|Location||Tehachapi Pass, Kern County, California|
|Turbines||100 X 1.5 MW (Alta I)
50 X 3 MW (Alta II)
50 X 3 MW (Alta III)
34 X 3 MW (Alta IV)
56 X 3 MW (Alta V)
50 X 3 MW (Alta VI)
56 X 3 MW (Pinyon Pines I)
50 X 3 MW (Alta VIII)
44 X 3 MW (Pinyon Pines II)
|Wind farm information|
|Power generation information|
|Installed capacity||1,320 MW|
|Maximum capacity||3,000 MW|
|Annual generation||1,690 (approx.)|
|As of 1 January 2013|
The Alta Wind Energy Center is a wind farm located in Tehachapi Pass of the Tehachapi Mountains, in Kern County, California. As of 2013, it is the largest wind farm in the world, with a combined installed capacity of 1,320 MW (1,770,000 hp). The project, being developed near Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm – site of the first large-scale wind farms installed in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s – is "a powerful illustration of the growing size and scope of modern wind projects".
Southern California Edison has agreed to a 25-year power purchase agreement for the power produced as part of the power purchase agreements for up to 1,500 MW (2,000,000 hp) or more of power generated from new projects to be built in the Tehachapi area. The project will "reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 5.2 million metric tons, which is equivalent to taking 446,000 cars off the road". A total of 3,000 MW (4,000,000 hp) is planned.
The wind farm is being developed by Terra-Gen Power which closed a US$1.2 billion financing deal in July 2010 with partners that included Citibank, Barclays Capital, and Credit Suisse. After many delays, the first phase began construction in 2010. Financing for additional phases of $650 million was secured in April 2012. Construction of the Alta Wind Energy Center is expected to create more than 3,000 domestic manufacturing, construction, and maintenance jobs, and contribute more than a billion dollars to the local economy.
The original "Alta-Oak Creek Mojave Project" plan consisted of up to 320 wind turbines occupying a 9,000-acre (36 km2) area while producing 800 MW (1,100,000 hp) of power. According to the American Wind Energy Association, two initial projects were completed in fall 2010, the 150 MW (200,000 hp)Alta II (Vestas) project using 50 3 MW (4,000 hp) generators and the 150 MW Alta I project using 100 1.5 MW generators. Three subsequent projects 150 MW Alta III, 102 MW (137,000 hp) Alta IV, and 168 MW Alta V projects were completed in the 2nd quarter of 2011 using 50, 34, and 56 3 MW Vestas V-90 wind turbines. Alta VIII and Alta VI projects, comprising 300 MW (400,000 hp), were completed in late 2011/early 2012. Alta VII and IX projects comprising 300 MW (400,000 hp), were completed in December 2012 (bringing the total to 1,320 MW (1,770,000 hp)), but they were renamed to Pinyon Pines Wind I and Pinyon Pines Wind II.
See also 
- Terra-Gen bags $631m for more phases at California's Alta Wind Renewable Energy World, 29 July 2010.
- World's Largest Wind Project is Underway Recharge, June 3, 2011
- GE Acquires California Wind Farm, UK Energy Management Firm
- Alta Wind Energy Center, Alta Wind Energy Center, 2009
- California U.S. Wind Energy Projects - California, AWEA, Oct 22, 2010
- CNBC: MidAmerican Wind Announces Completion of 300-Megawatt Pinyon Pines Wind I and II Projects