Google and Citi are investing another $204 million in the Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) located in Tehachapi, California.
Each company will infuse $102 million in Alta V, the fifth phase of the wind farm. Just last month, Citi and Google each invested $55 million in Alta IV. As a result of their latest backing, the two companies will hold leveraged leases totaling 270 MW of the AWEC.
The initial five Alta phases are now operational, with a generating capacity of 720 MW, and sending electricity to California. Terra-Gen Power, the wind farm's owner expects the next phases, Alta VI through VIII, to be complete by the end of the year.
The company recently placed an order with Vestas for the turbines it will install at Alta VI, VII, and VIII. Additionally, Terra-Gen has received $631 million in financing for construction and development of these phases from major banking institutions. These new branches of the wind project would bring Alta's total generating capacity to 1,020 MW.
When the Alta Wind Energy Center is finished it will generate 1,550 MW of power, making it the United States' largest wind farm. All of the energy will be sent to Southern California Edison (SCE) through a 25-year power purchase agreement. The energy will be transferred from Tehachapi to SCE via the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project. The Tehachapi Transmission Project represents California's first initiative designed to transfer clean energy generated in the remote Tehachapi region to the state's major population centers such as Southern California.
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has become one of America's most fervent corporate investors in clean energy technology. With its latest investment in the AWEC, the Internet-giant has now invested $780 million in clean energy projects, $700 million of which has been dispersed this year. The company's holdings range from solar energy to electric vehicles, and from established companies to start-up outfits.
In terms of wind power, Google is invested in several wind projects across the country, highlighted by its $100 million investment in the 845 MW Shepherds Flats wind project under development in Oregon. Additionally, the company has backed the Atlantic Wind Connection project, a 350-mile offshore transmission line, which is essential for the development of offshore wind on the East Coast. It is estimated the line will have the ability to connect 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind power to the grid.
Citi (NYSE: C), one of America's largest banking institutions, has made climate change mitigation a major business strategy. In 2007, the company developed its Climate Change Initiative which declared it would invest $50 billion over ten years in activities which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To date, the company claims $30 billion have been invested. Among its numerous clean energy activities, arranged the financing for the Shepherd Flats wind project.
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