NextEra Energy Resources LLC, the largest generator of wind energy in North America, joined by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its repowered Vasco Wind Energy Center located in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area about 40 miles east of San Francisco.
The 78.2 megawatt (MW) Vasco Wind Energy Center is comprised of 34 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines. To make room for the new wind turbines, a NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary removed nearly 440 operating wind turbines, 286 foundations of non-operating sites, 180 power poles and more than 6.5 miles of overhead power lines.
“The Vasco Wind Energy Center is more than just another wind farm to bring clean, renewable power to California. This project is a demonstration of people bringing their skills, knowledge and commitment together to make something good happen. Many people worked on this project, and the result is a facility of which we can all be proud,” said Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of Development for NextEra Energy Resources. “With continued public policy support, we look forward to continuing to invest in renewable energy to help California achieve its clean energy objectives.”
“Wind power helps PG&E continue to deliver one of the cleanest energy portfolios in the nation to our customers,” said Fong Wan, senior vice president of Energy Procurement for PG&E. “The Vasco Wind project is a good example of replacing older turbine technology with new, more efficient models which can better harness this renewable resource to generate much more clean electricity.”
Repowering is a process of replacing older wind turbines with newer ones that either have a greater nameplate capacity or more efficiency which results in a net increase in the power generated. In the case of the Vasco Wind Energy Center, the nameplate capacity is the same at 78.2 MW, but the turbines are about twice as efficient.
NextEra Energy Resources has invested approximately $1.2 billion in wind and solar energy facilities currently in operation in California. The company, through its subsidiaries, currently owns and operates nearly 850 MWs of wind in California, or enough wind to power more than 200,000 homes. NextEra Energy Resources also co-owns and operates 310 MWs of solar power in the Mojave Desert.