New York-based alternative energy supplier Terra-Gen Power has secured $1.2 billion in financing for the construction of what it says will be the largest wind farm in the U.S. The funds will deliver four projects at the company's Alta Wind Energy Center in Kern County, California, with a capacity of 570 megawatts. A total of 190 3.0 MW Vestas-American Wind Technology turbines will be used in the new initiative. These will be added to the already underway 150 MW Alta Project I which uses GE turbines. Eventually it's envisioned that the Alta Wind Energy Center will deliver 3,000 MW of wind power.

Construction is expected to begin immediately and Terra-Gen says the 720 MW potential of the first five projects at the Alta Wind Energy Center will increase the installed wind capacity in California by more than 25% and deliver enough clean, renewable energy to supply up to two hundred thousand homes. Commercial operations are slated to begin in 2011.

“We are delighted to have closed this financing and to be working with Vestas and GE on the Alta projects. The project represents an important expansion of the renewable generating base of California and helps us advance our nation’s goals of achieving energy independence in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Jim Pagano, CEO of Terra-Gen. “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. We are grateful to Kern County, the State of California, the U.S. Congress, and the Treasury Department for their supportive renewable energy policies, without which ambitious projects like the Alta Wind Energy Center would simply not be possible.”

The company signed a purchase agreement with Southern California Edison in 2006 to deliver 1,550 MW of power and currently has 21 renewable energy projects in operation in six states, with more than 5,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity under development.