Google Invests $55 Million in California's Massive 1,550MW Alta Wind Farm

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Google's not stopping its massive clean energy investments. After $168M in solar thermal and $100M in wind power, they're investing in... more wind power! They're providing $55 million to finance the 102 MW Alta IV project, part of the massive 1,550MW Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) project.

google wind power north dakota photo

Photo: Flickr, CC & Google

The Alta projects also employ an innovative financial structure called a leveraged lease, which has been used previously in the solar industry but has only recently become an option for wind projects. Under the leveraged lease, Google and Citi are purchasing the Alta IV project and will lease it back to Terra-Gen, who will manage and operate the wind projects under long-term agreements. We hope this structure encourages more investment by enabling other types of investors who might not typically consider wind projects.

The first five Alta projects are already operational, delivering 720 MW of energy to Southern California Edison, which will receive all 1,550 MW when completed, under a power purchase agreement signed with Terra-Gen in 2006. While Google won't be purchasing the electricity from this project, AWEC will help California meet its ambitious renewable portfolio standard of 33 percent clean power by 2020. The whole site will boost California's wind generation by 30 percent. (source)

This deal brings Google's clean energy investments to about $400 million. Not bad for a company started by a couple computer geeks a bit more than a decade ago...

Via Google

More on Google's Clean Energy Play
Google Invests $168 Million in 392MW Mojave Desert Solar Thermal Plant
Google Invests $100m in What Will be the World's Largest Wind Farm (845 MW)
Google & Partners To Make 5-Billion Dollar Wind-To-Wire Investment Along US Mid-Atlantic Coast

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