Southern California Edison (SCE), the nation’s leading purchaser of renewable energy, has signed a ground-breaking wind energy contract with Alta Windpower Development LLC, a subsidiary of Allco Financial Group Inc. (ASX: AFG.AX) of Australia that will provide 1,500 megawatts (MW) or more of power, the largest wind energy contract ever signed by a U.S. utility.
The project, which more than doubles SCE’s wind energy portfolio, will be is located in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area in Southern California, about 75 miles northeast of Los Angeles, will involve the development of a wind farm on 50 square miles of land that Allco controls and or owns – triple the size of any existing U.S. wind farm.
The new turbines would generate twice the power of the biggest U.S. wind farm, the Horse Hallow Wind Farm in Texas. This project, once built, would blow past Texas’s 2,400 MW by bringing California’s total installed capacity up to 3,800 MW. California currently has around 2,300 MW of wind installed throughout the state.
The group reported that the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area currently has wind farms generating 730M, however its capacity is expected to grow to approximately 4,500MW over the next 10 years.
The success of the large wind project announced today depends on SCE receiving authorization from utilities regulators and other government agencies to build high-voltage transmission lines to conduct electricity from the new wind farms.