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US wind energy: 300MW comes online in California

Two Californian wind energy projects have reached completion, bringing 300MW of new capacity onto the state’s grid, developer MidAmerican wind said on Monday.

The 168MW Pinyon Pines Wind I and 132 MW Pinyon Pines II projects, located near Tehachapi, southern California, consist of 100 Vestas 3MW V90 turbines. The projects are interconnected to Southern California Edison’s Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, which connects wind capacity in the Tehachapi area to the wider transmission system.

Southern California Edison will purchase electricity from each of the projects under long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Tom Budler, president of MidAmerican Wind, said: “We are pleased to have met our timeline for building the two projects and placing them in-service before year-end 2012.” The two projects were formerly known as Alta Wind VII and Alta Wind IX.

The completion of the Pinyon Pines Wind I and Pinyon Pines Wind II projects bring MidAmerican Wind’s operating renewable energy portfolio to 381MW. The company, which is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables, now has more than 1.2GW of owned renewables capacity either operating or under construction.

MidAmerican Wind’s portfolio also includes the 81MW Bishop Hill II wind project that was placed in-service earlier this year.

Meantime, Vestas has welcomed news that the US wind energy Production Tax Credit incentive system is to be extended, saying it provides certainty for the wind industry and will help ensure more orders for turbines are placed in the coming year. 

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