The Alta Wind Energy Center (Alta windfarm) is the nation's largest wind facility and second in the world. It is located in the wind resource area at the Tehachapi Pass in Kern County. The Alta windfarm supplies 1,548 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to Southern California Edison (SCE) customers, and will continue through 2040 under a 3,000 MW wind power development initiative - producing enough electricity to power 450,000 homes.
California has been using wind power since the 1980s. Tehachapi Pass is one of three primary areas where California is producing renewable energy from wind.
Terra-Gen Power has developed nine wind power projects at the Alta windfarm. They own 720 MW of the 1,320 MW of wind energy capacity now online. The remaining projects are owned by MidAmerican Energy (300 MW), EverPower (150 MW) and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (150 MW). Terra-Gen also owns the 228 MW of wind capacity now under construction.
The Alta projects help the local and state economy by providing:
- Royalty payments of more than $30 million annually to Kern County farmers, ranchers and other landowners.
- Property tax payments of more than $40 million annually.
- State sales tax payments in excess of $200 million.
Key Developers and Partners
- Terra-Gen Power, LLC
- MidAmerican Energy
- Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners
Type of Project
Completed in 2012, the initial nine Alta windfarm projects are online. They are now known as Pinyon Pines Wind I and Pinyon Pines Wind II. As of 2014, two additional Alta projects were completed totally 228 MW of generating capacity and reaching the goal of 1,548 MW generation. There are plans to install and construct additional wind power turbines, beginning in 2015.
SEE LOCATIONS ON THE TOUR
Electric vehicle manufacturing
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure
Smart grid/solar/wind/fuel cell/advanced energy storage/solar thermal
Zero net energy mixed use, multi-unit housing communities