MidAmerican acquires 300 MW of California wind plants

MidAmerican Wind has acquired 300 MW of California wind projects that are part of the largest wind complex in the country.

The subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables, part of Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings, completed the acquisition of the 168-MW Alta Wind VII and the 132-MW Alta Wind IX projects on Nov. 8. The projects were developed by California Highwind Power, a subsidiary of Terra-Gen Power, LLC. The projects are located near Tehachapi, Calif.

“The completion of this acquisition marks MidAmerican Wind’s second acquisition of wind generation assets in 2012,” said Tom Budler, president of MidAmerican Wind. “We are pleased to add the Alta Wind VII and Alta Wind IX projects to our generation portfolio.”

Terra-Gen is developing the proposed 1,550-MW Alta Wind Energy Center in 11 phases in Tehachapi. Seven phases totaling 1,020 MW were completed by the end of 2011.

The 138-MW tenth phase and 90-MW eleventh phase are expected to be completed by January 2015. Terra-Gen may complete the latter two phases early and sell the power on the spot market.

Alta Wind VII and Alta Wind IX projects bring MidAmerican Wind’s renewable energy portfolio to 381 MW. With the addition of the Alta Wind projects, MidAmerican Renewables’ portfolio includes more than 1,250 MW of owned renewable energy assets in operation or under construction.

When complete, Edison International (EIX) subsidiary Southern California Edison (SCE) will purchase electricity from each of the projects under long-term power purchase agreements that extend to 2035. The projects will interconnect to and utilize Southern California Edison’s Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project.

The projects will utilize a total of 100 Vestas 3-MW V90 wind turbines.

Through its subsidiaries, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company is the No. 1 rate-regulated utility owner of wind-powered generation capacity in the U.S. MidAmerican began building wind energy projects in 2004, and the company has built or acquired more than 3,300 MW of wind generation. Through MidAmerican Wind, MidAmerican is growing its unregulated wind generation portfolio.