Alta Wind Energy Center
From Open Energy Information
The Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) is located in the heart of one of the most proven wind resources in the United States - the Tehachapi-Mojave Wind Resource Area. Terra-Gen is developing the AWEC, California's largest wind energy project, adjacent to existing wind projects between the towns of Mojave and Tehachapi. Due to a welcoming community and the participation of a diverse group of landowners (private and public, local and non-local, large and small), the AWEC has a strong foundation for success.
The AWEC will be comprised of several distinct projects and will utilize the same wind resource that has powered thousands of turbines for the past two decades. In addition to a proven wind resource, in 2006, the AWEC executed a 1,550 megawatt (MW) power contract to sell clean, renewable wind energy to Southern California Edison. The AWEC also secured priority access to a new transmission line that was completed at the end of 2009. Access to transmission and a market to sell wind power are two often-overlooked success factors that differentiate Alta from other renewable energy development projects. Upon completion of phase 1 of the Alta-Oak Creek Mojave Project (Project) in early 2011, energy delivery to SCE will begin.
Kern County is home to this notable, historic endeavor that provides the following significant benefits to the State of California and the Nation:
- Generates clean, renewable wind energy to power 275,000 residences in California.
- As of December 2008, the AWEC represents 35% of approved contracts by the California Public Utilities Commission for renewable energy (includes all wind, solar, and geothermal contracts).
- Upon completion, would represent 10 percent of the renewable power purchases required for California's regulated utilities.
- By not utilizing fossil fuels that emit harmful gases, the AWEC will reduce air emissions on an annual basis by 5.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, 28 million pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 13.2 million pounds of nitrogen oxides.