Big wind project secures financing near Tehachapi

Terra-Gen Power LLC says it has secured $1.2 billion in financing to build four wind-powered electrical generation projects near Tehachapi.

Officials estimate it will generate about 1,500 jobs.

The combined generating capacity is 570 megawatts, or enough electricity to supply 570,000 homes. The project would bolster the 3,000 megawatt Alta Wind Energy Center, which was started in the 1980s and "where former Governor Jerry Brown jump-started the US wind industry back in the early ’80s with 55% tax credits. Back then, because of those policies, California led the nation in wind and solar," wrote Susan Kraemer on

Terra-Gen officials said in a statement that combined with another project which received financing in March, this would put the New York-based company "well on its way to completing what is anticipated to be the largest wind energy farm in the nation."

John O’Connor, chief financial officer of Terra-Gen, said project financing is a first using a leveraged lease and a bond issuance under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 144A, which "are not required to be registered with the SEC and may not be resold to individual investors, but may be traded between qualified institutional buyers," according to an article by Miles Livingston and Lei Zhou on

"We are hopeful that these benchmarks will expand the capital base available to fund future growth in the renewables sector,” O'Connor said.

Jim Pagano, CEO of Terra-Gen said the project expands California's renewable energy base and helps achieve energy independence. “The Alta projects I-V will create more than 1,500 domestic manufacturing, construction and operation and maintenance jobs, and inject more than $600 million into the local economy," he said.
Construction is expected to begin immediately, and commercial energy production should start next year.

Power will be delivered to the Los Angeles Basin through Southern California Edison’s Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, which was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in March 2007. Construction on the project is now under way. SCE officials say it is the "first major energy transmission project in California being constructed specifically to access multiple renewable generators in a remote renewable-rich resource area."

Photo: Courtesy Southern California Edison.