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Terra-Gen Power closes funding for 'largest ever' wind farm

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Terra-Gen Power has closed financing to build what it claims will be the largest wind energy farm in the U.S.

New York City-based Terra-Gen Power on Thursday said that it is on track to build what it anticipates will be the largest wind energy farm in the United States.

The company measured that milestone through the closing of a $1.2 billion round of construction financing for four wind power projects at its Alta Wind Energy Center in Kern County, Calif.

Construction is expected to begin immediately, with commercial operations slated to begin in the first half of 2011.

Citibank has agreed to purchase the projects as a leveraged lease; Terra-Gen will manage and operate the projects under long-term agreements.

The projects will generate an estimated 570 megawatts of capacity, and will use turbines manufactured by Vestas.

Over time, the wind farm should generate up to 3,000 megawatts of wind power. The first phase, called Alta Project I, broke ground in March. Alta Project I utilizes 100 GE turbines, which generate 1.5 megawatts of power each.

The State of California estimates that it requires 55,657 gigawatt-hours of new renewable energy generation to meet its clean air and water standards, according to a report published by California's Independent System Operator (ISO) in March.

California also projects that it will need six or more transmission lines and multiple technology architecture and system upgrades.

Terra-Gen Power is well on its way toward contributing to that goal. The company's Web site lists eight existing wind power facilities in California: six projects in Tehachapi, one in Mojave, and one in Palm Springs, generating a combined 254 megawatts of clean energy.

The company also signed a 1,550-megawatt power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison in 2006.

Illustration: A rendering of an Alta Wind project site. (Terra-Gen)

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David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure