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Google backs California wind farm with $55 million

May 24, 2011 |  1:36 pm

Google The Alta Wind Energy Center in Kern County, one of the largest wind farms in the world, just landed a hot new financier: Google.

The Internet search giant is partnering with Citibank to each spend $55 million to buy part of the installation. When complete, Alta will generate 1.5 gigawatts, enough to power 450,000 homes through Southern California Edison.

Located in the Mojave Desert foothills, a growing hotbed for wind power, the first five segments of the Alta project are already online and generating 720 megawatts of energy. Developers expect another 300 megawatts in the can by the end of the year.

In a move that is popular in the solar industry, Google and Citibank will lease the fourth portion, known as Alta IV, back to developer Terra-Gen to operate.

Google has now funneled more than $400 million into clean energy projects including solar and electric vehicle ventures.

RELATED:

Google works on electric vehicle charging, invests $100 million in wind farm

Wind farm 'mega-project' underway in Mojave Desert

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press

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