Terra-Gen Power Breaks Ground on World?s Largest Wind Power Project

Today, political and business leaders joined Terra-Gen Power for the groundbreaking of the world’s largest wind energy project, the Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC). When completed, AWEC will have the capacity to generate 1,550 megawatts of clean renewable energy— nearly double the capacity of the largest existing wind energy project and enough to supply power to 1.1 million people, or the equivalent of 275,000 homes.

The Alta wind farm projects will create more than 3,000 domestic manufacturing, construction and operation and maintenance jobs, and contribute more than $1.2 billion to the local economy in Kern County.

“All of us at Terra-Gen are proud of the immense contribution that the Alta Wind Energy Center project will make to America’s clean energy economy”

State, local and Federal officials joined members of the Terra-Gen team for the groundbreaking event. Speakers included Terra-Gen CEO Jim Pagano; Don Maben, Second District Supervisor, Kern County; Ned Farquhar, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, U.S. Dept. of the Interior; California Assemblywoman Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield); California Assemblywoman Connie Conway (R-Tulare); Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon, California Public Utilities Commission; and Eric Lammers, Principal, ArcLight Capital Partners and Jonathan Bram, Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners representing the sponsors of Terra-Gen.

Governor Schwarzenegger made a video appearance at the event and was represented there by Michael Picker, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Renewable Energy Facilities. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also participated by video statement. Rex Moen, District Representative for California State Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) attended on the Senator’s behalf and presented Terra-Gen with a California State Senate Certificate of Recognition to commemorate the event.

AWEC will increase wind turbines industry jobs in California by 20 percent, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 52 million metric tons, which is equivalent to taking 446,000 cars off the road. AWEC will increase the installed wind power capacity in California by 25 percent and conserve more than 888 million gallons of water annually.

“All of us at Terra-Gen are proud of the immense contribution that the Alta Wind Energy Center project will make to America’s clean energy economy,” said Terra-Gen Power CEO Jim Pagano. “AWEC will create a record-breaking amount of domestic wind energy, securing America’s energy independence while protecting our natural resources for future generations.”

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement, "California’s bold and innovative policies have made us a world leader in renewable energy, green jobs and environmental protection," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "Having the world’s largest wind farm project break ground in our state is tangible evidence that our pioneering policies are drawing investment, improving the economy and creating jobs now when we need them most. I look forward to seeing many more record-breaking projects like this one being built in California that will provide clean electricity and many more jobs."

Denise Bode, the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) issued a short statement on the role of California’s ambitious renewable standard in fostering this important project, “We hope our friends in the U.S. Congress will take notice of the clear demonstration that Terra-Gen Power’s Alta projects provide of the power of strong renewable portfolio standards to create jobs and grow the economy.”

Terra-Gen’s historic project will ultimately boast nearly 600 state-of-the-art wind turbines with green jobs spreading from the project site in California to other states. Vestas-American Wind Technology will utilize its facilities in Colorado, which employ over 1,000 people with the intention to hire hundreds more, to complete an order for 190 wind turbines, their largest order in 31 years for a single site.

“The overwhelming support of the Kern County community, California’s enlightened energy policies, and the Federal renewable programs in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act combined to make the Alta Wind Energy Center a reality,” added Pagano. “We are grateful for the critical support for renewable energy from the federal, state and local governments, and for the commitment by Southern California Edison (SCE), which is moving California towards a clean energy future. AWEC is a stunning example of how these policies can work to grow our economy, enhance our energy security, and protect our environment.”