Ned Farquhar, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, addresses the guests at Terra-Gen Power's ground breaking ceremony for Alta Wind Energy Center in Mojave, California. Photo: Rod Thornburg
It's been a while since we've seen an honest to goodness gigantic wind power project actually start construction, so this is definitely worth noting: Terra-Gen Power has announced it has begun construction on what it's calling the world's largest wind energy project, the 1,550 megawatt Alta Wind Energy Center, in Mojave, California. At double the capacity of the next largest completed project, the wind farm will generate enough power to electrify 275,000 homes.Boosts Cali. Wind Power Capacity 25%, Blows Billions Into Local Economy
When completed, AWEC will consist of 600 Vestas turbines, increase the installed wind power capacity in California by 25% and, according to Terra-Gen, conserve more than 888 million gallons of water annually--presumably based on had an equivalent amount of energy been generated via non-renewable energy.
Using similar logic, the project will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 52 million metric tons annually--though, really, unless an equivalent amount of fossil fuel power is displaced by the project, and it just isn't added to the state's capacity, no emissions are actually reduced. You've just gotten more power, without increasing emissions.
Terra-Gen boasts that AWEC will create more than 3,000 domestic manufacturing, construction, operation and maintenance jobs, while contributing more than $1.2 billion to the Kern County economy.
More on Wind Power:
Texas Sets New Wind Power Record With 6,272 Megawatt Peak
Earth First! Maine Anti-Wind Power Protest Keeps Green Movement Honest
Sweden to Build 2,000 New Wind Turbines, Aims for 50% Renewables by 2020
New Jersey's Offshore Wind Power Plans Will Have Little Negative Environmental Impact: Study