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Google invests $55 million in Mojave Desert wind farm

Alternative Energy

Google Inc. is investing $55 million in a large Mojave Desert wind farm, pumping fresh air into California’s struggling wind power industry.

The Internet search giant made the announcement in Anaheim at the industry’s largest gathering, where wind farm developers and turbine makers said the investment could be a key step in California’s efforts to regain its once enviable title as the world’s capital for wind power.

“We just fell off a cliff,” said Gary Polakovic, a consultant for San Diego wind energy developer EnXco Inc. “But all eyes are on California now. It’s our chance to do this right.”

Google said Tuesday that it was partnering with Citibank, which is also shelling out $55 million to help finance part of the Alta Wind Energy Center, one of the world’s largest wind installations.

When complete, the project in the Tehachapi Mountains will generate 1.5 gigawatts, enough to power 450,000 homes. The installation will help boost wind jobs in the state 20% while feeding more than $1.2 billion into the Kern County economy, according to developers.

LA Times

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