Additional Development In The Tehachapi Pass Wind Park

Tehachapi Pass Wind Park in California
The Tehachapi Pass Wind Park in California.
(cc) Jurriaan Persyn

Western Wind has secured approximately 575 contiguous acres near Tehachapi, California through land purchases and ground leases and plans to pursue the development of an additional wind energy project of at least 30 megawatts. The new project will be named Windswept. Western Wind is working on acquiring or leasing additional contiguous land parcels that could see Windswept increase to over 1,500 acres and up to 80 MWs.

Windswept is just west of Western Wind’s current late development stage Windstar project and shares similar wind speeds to Windstar’s lower resource area. Windswept completion is still several years away and is subject to obtaining wind energy zoning from Kern County, a power purchase agreement, interconnection to Southern California Edison’s new transmission line, financing, and other development milestones.

Tehachapi Pass is one of the largest wind parks in the world, with over 5,000 wind turbines owned and operated by a variety of different entities. Tehachapi Pass generates over 705 MW of nameplate capacity, the maximum rated output the turbines could produce according to the turbine manufacturer, producing over 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year. In Tehachapi Pass, the mean-average annual wind speeds and frequency distributions are well documented due to the long history of wind energy generation in the area and the area is considered to be an “excellent” wind resource according to the American Wind Energy Association (“AWEA”). Capacity factors in Tehachapi Pass are in excess of 40% using modern wind turbines, compared to an estimated average 36% capacity factor for all 2007 U.S. installations, according to the AWEA.

In addition, California’s electricity rates are among the highest in the U.S. and, in November 2008, the governor of the State of California signed Executive Order S-14-08 requiring that California utilities reach a 33% renewable energy goal by 2020, exceeding the previous legislative mandate that electric utilities supply 20% of their total retail power sales from renewable resources by 2010. According to CAISO, the renewable portfolio standard will require 8,000 MW of new wind generation. Approximately 4,000 MW is expected to come from the Tehachapi Pass Wind Resource Area.

Western Wind Energy Corp is a vertically integrated renewable energy electrical production company that currently owns over 500 wind turbines with 34.5 MW of rated capacity and a further 131 MW of expansion power purchase agreements in the States of California and Arizona. Western Wind further owns additional development assets for both Solar and Wind Energy in California, Arizona, Ontario, Canada and a development team in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Western Wind is in the business of owning and acquiring land sites and technology for the production of electricity from wind and solar energy. Management of Western Wind Energy includes individuals involved in the operations and ownership of utility scale wind energy facilities in California since 1981.

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