Alta Wind Energy Center

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Alta Wind Energy Center
Alta Wind Energy Center is located in California
Alta Wind Energy Center
Location of the Alta Wind Energy Center in California
Country United States
Location Tehachapi Pass, Kern County, California
Coordinates 35°1′16″N 118°19′14″W / 35.02111°N 118.32056°W / 35.02111; -118.32056Coordinates: 35°1′16″N 118°19′14″W / 35.02111°N 118.32056°W / 35.02111; -118.32056
Status Operational
Commission date 2010
Wind farm
Type Onshore
Site area 3,200 acres
Power generation
Units operational 600
Make and model Vestas
Nameplate capacity 1,547 MW
Capacity factor 30%
Average generation 2,680.6 GWh

Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC), also known as Mojave Wind Farm, is the third largest onshore wind energy project in the world. 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 United States,[1] with a combined installed capacity of 1,547 MW (2,075,000 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".[2][3]

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".[2] A total of 3,000 MW (4,000,000 hp) is planned.[4]

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 one billion dollars to the local economy.[2]


A small portion of Alta Wind Energy Center looking from Oak Creek Road.

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