Google invests in California wind energy
Internet search giant Google announced Wednesday it is partnering with banking conglomerate Citibank to invest in what is set to become the largest wind power project in the world, in southern California.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Google said its wind farm, which will be part of the Alta Wind Energy Center in the Tehachapi Pass in Kern County, would generate up to 1.5 gigawatts of electricity. It said that would be enough to power 450,000 homes through Southern California Edison.
The Los Angeles Times reported both Google and Citibank are investing $55 million. That would bring Google's investment in wind and solar power to $400 million.
The Alta Wind Energy Center is being built in phases. Segments are already generating 720 megawatts of energy and another 300 megawatts goes online by the end of the year.
Google and Citibank are buying the fourth phase of the project, known as Alta IV, and will lease it back to renewable energy developer Terra-Gen Power to operate over a long-term contract.
When completed, Alta IV will generate up to 1,550 megawatts of wind energy.
Brookfield also investing in Tehachapi Pass
The announcement came a little over two weeks after a Canadian company, Brookfield Renewable Power, announced it had ordered 34 turbines for a development in the same area.
The project of Brookfield and partner Coram California Development Management will generate up to 102 MW, with commissioning due to start late this year. Brookfield did not provide an estimated cost for the development.
The Tehachapi Pass in southern California's Mojave Desert is one of the state's largest wind energy generation areas, with numerous wind farms, and has been under development since the early 1980s.
Brookfield, formerly called Brascan Power, is based in Toronto.
With files from The Associated Press