Google and Citi increase wind power investments

Remember the other day how we mentioned search engine powerhouse Google has dumped something like $680 million into various clean energy projects? 

Well, you can bump that up by $100 million or so, as the company just announced it, along with Citi, are pumping $102 million each into a large scale wind power project in, you guessed it, California.

Google and Citi are putting the $204 million into the 168 MW Alta V project, which is part of the much larger Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) being developed by Terra-Gen Power.

We’ve written about this project numerous times before, even noting Google and Citi each already ponied up $55 million. The total scope of this project, once completed, will ultimately have a generating capacity of 1,550 megawatts (MW).

The two companies now hold leveraged leases for two phases, totaling 270 MW, with Citi also having underwritten the equity financing for Alta Projects II-V, totaling 570 MW. All of these wind projects in Tehachapi, Calif. “will use a new transmission line developed as part of the 4,500 MW Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, the first major transmission project in California built to transport electricity from remote, clean energy resources in the Tehachapi region to population centers in Southern California and elsewhere.”

It is said that, by the end of the year, the AWEC project will have enough clean energy online – 1,020 MW of operating capacity  – to make it the largest of its kind in the nation. All of this, as well as wind power yet to be built, is being supplied to Southern California Edison via a power purchase agreement dating back to 2006.

When completed, it is said, AWEC is expected to increase wind industry jobs in California by 20 percent, including more than 3,000 domestic manufacturing, construction, operation and maintenance jobs. The Alta projects will also contribute more than $1.2 billion to the local economy in Kern County.

Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling