California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Western Wind Energy Corp has secured approximately 575 contiguous acres near Tehachapi, California through land purchases and ground leases and plans to develop 30 megawatts of capacity at the site. The new project will be named Windswept. Western Wind is working on acquiring or leasing additional contiguous land parcels that could see Windswept increase to over 1,500 acres and up to 80 MW.
Windswept is just west of Western Wind’s current late development stage Windstar project and shares similar wind speeds to Windstar’s lower resource area. Windswept completion is still several years away and is subject to obtaining wind energy zoning from Kern County, a power purchase agreement, interconnection to Southern California Edison’s new transmission line, financing and other development milestones.
Tehachapi Pass is one of the largest wind parks in the world, with over 5,000 wind turbines owned and operated by a variety of different entities. Tehachapi Pass generates over 705 MW of nameplate capacity, the maximum rated output the turbines could produce according to the turbine manufacturer, producing over 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
In Tehachapi Pass, the mean-average annual wind speeds and frequency distributions are well documented due to the long history of wind energy generation in the area and the area is considered to be an “excellent” wind resource according to the American Wind Energy Association. Capacity factors in Tehachapi Pass are in excess of 40% using modern wind turbines, compared to an estimated average 36% capacity factor for all 2007 U.S. installations, according to the AWEA.