Balfour Wind Energy Constructors Delivers Alta Wind Energy Center Phase I

This project marks the beginning of the new wind center, which will ultimately generate enough energy to sustain the electricity needs of 1.1 million people, or roughly the equivalent of 275,000 California homes. The facility will also increase California’s installed wind energy capacity by 25 percent. Phase I includes the installation of 100 1.5sle GE wind turbine generators delivering 150 megawatts of power to Southern California Edison’s WindHub via six miles of 230kv transmission line.

A Challenging Site

The Alta Wind Energy Center is located in the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains with altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 feet. Despite Phase I’s technically challenging site and an aggressive schedule, the project was delivered to Alta Wind I, on schedule and within budget, for commercial operation per the requirements of the power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison.

Close Collaboration with Local Entities

Permits for Phase I were required from multiple entities, and due to the size and complexity of the project, coordination and communication was imperative. To stay on schedule, the BWEC team developed a work sequence that enabled continuous work in permitted areas while permits were pending for other areas. The site also crossed multiple properties, which required close collaboration with local entities to identify and relocate utilities.

Protecting the Environment

The Alta Wind Energy Center site is home to a variety of indigenous wildlife, including the Desert Tortoise and the Bakersfield Cactus, both protected species. The project team worked closely with the corresponding County and State authorities to implement work processes for the protection of the site’s natural and cultural resources.

Balfour Wind Energy Constructors is a strategic and operational joint venture between Dallas, Texas-based Balfour Beatty Construction and Oklahoma-based Wind Energy Constructors. Balfour Beatty Construction, with revenues of $2.8 billion, is among the largest commercial contractors in the U.S. and a subsidiary of London-based Balfour Beatty plc. Wind Energy Constructors, founded in 1984, is one of the most experienced wind farm construction companies in the U.S.

Alta Wind I is owned by California Highwind Power, a subsidiary of Terra-Gen. Terra-Gen is an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners and Global Infrastructure Partners. With more than 1,550 MWs of generating capacity in operation across 26 renewable power facilities, Terra-Gen Power is one of the nation’s leading renewable energy providers and the only American company that provides electricity on a utility scale from three major renewable energy sources: wind, solar and geothermal power. Terra-Gen is headquartered in New York City with offices in San Diego, Reno, Denver, and Charlotte.