MOJAVE – The wind farms that dot the hillsides west of Mojave are about to expand, with Thursday’s announced start of an 8,000-acre project to provide power to the city of Los Angeles.
When completed next year, the Pine Tree Wind Project will be the largest city-owned wind farm in the country, expected to provide enough energy to power 56,000 homes.
“Today Los Angeles not only turns a new page in its energy history, we write an entirely new book for a livable, breathable L.A.,” said Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa joined city and Department of Water and Power officials Thursday at a ceremonial ground-breaking for the project, situated some 15 miles north of Mojave in the Tehachapi Mountains.
“Pine Tree is the start of a new model of clean energy, in which the city of Los Angeles is no longer satisfied with only buying clean power, but is taking the lead nationally in producing its own,” Villaraigosa said. “Today we upgrade to Green Energy version 2.0.”
The project’s energy will be generated using 80 wind turbine generators, each producing 1.5 megawatts of electricity. That electricity will be sent to Los Angeles customers via a new high-voltage transmission line and the new Barren Ridge electrical substation.
The total estimated cost is $425 million.
In addition to the Pine Tree Wind Project, officials announced plans to develop a second, larger wind farm, the 12,000-acre Pine Canyon Wind Project, on adjacent property recently purchased by the city power agency. When complete, that project is expected to produce 150 megawatts of electricity, compared to the 120-megawatt Pine Tree project.
Together, the two wind farms are expected to produce enough energy to power nearly 130,000 homes, said H. David Nahai, general manager of the Los Angeles agency.
The twin projects are intended to help the city reach its goal of generating 20% of its power through renewable resources by 2010, and 35% by 2020. According to officials, the wind energy project will displace at least 200,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
The massive towers, 121-foot blades, turbines and nacelles that eventually will make up the wind farm are being stored on 23 acres of property at the Mojave Air and Space Port, land the contractor, GE Wind Energy, has leased as a storage and staging area for the project.
“We offered the value of having a secure site with in-house security provided,” and proximity to the project site, said Tom Weil, director of business operations for the airport.
By Allison Gatlin
1 February 2008
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding