AES Grows Its Wind Generation Assets in California

The AES Corporation will purchase 54 MW of wind generation assets from Enron Wind Systems in Tehachapi, California, bringing the total wind generation AES operates to 654 megawatts (MW). The assets include two wind farm projects encompassing 667 turbines constructed in the mid-1980s in Tehachapi. AES currently operates 274 MW of wind farms in California, in addition to the wind generation facilities it operates in Colorado, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming. This year, AES began commercial operation of its 120 MW Buffalo Gap wind farm in Abilene, Texas.

“This is an attractive acquisition for us, both in terms of its existing operations as well as its potential for future re-powering opportunities,” said Ned Hall, AES Vice President of Wind Generation. “California has the most installed megawatts of wind power in the United States, as well as some of the country’s most aggressive growth targets for renewable energy. Since California is not a top ten state in terms of wind resource, a key to its success in meeting its renewable energy goals will be re-powering and expanding existing wind generation projects. This acquisition provides AES with the opportunity to help California reach its goals.” “Growing our wind generation business is one of the significant priorities for our alternative energy business,” said William Luraschi, AES Executive Vice President of Business Development. “We see tremendous growth opportunities in wind, particularly in the United States, where the country is achieving record annual growth levels for newly installed wind projects.” The company is pursuing an additional 2,000 MW of wind projects in development, primarily in the U.S. AES also said it is currently developing wind power projects in Europe, China, India and Central and South America, with an emphasis on countries with existing AES businesses. AES entered the wind generation business in 2004 and has invested approximately $265 million to date. On April 17, 2006, the company announced plans to triple its investment in wind generation over the next three years, as part of its planned $1 billion investment in its alternative energy businesses. According to Emerging Energy Research, states the AES release, over the next five years, global installed wind generation capacity is expected to more than double. From 2006-2011, capacity is estimated to expand by nearly 80,000 MW worldwide, bringing the total installed wind generation capacity to more than 152,000 MW. Much of that growth is expected to occur in North America, where, by 2010, 6,000 MW of wind generation capacity is expected to be added each year. With 2005 revenues of $11.1 billion, AES has operations in 25 countries, with generation and distribution facilities able to serve 100 million people. Its 14 regulated utilities amass annual sales of more than 82,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) and 128 generation facilities generate more than 44,000 MW.
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