GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, and Bankers Commercial Corporation, a unit of UnionBanCal Corporation, have purchased the first wind farm to start operations in one of the largest wind energy projects in the United States. GE Energy Financial Services and Bankers Commercial Corporation acquired the 150-megawatt Alta Wind I wind farm in Tehachapi in Kern County, California, and are leasing it back to its developer, operator, and manager, Terra-Gen Power, LLC. The wind farm, using 100 GE 1.5-megawatt SLE turbines, was completed in the fourth quarter of last year. GE Energy Financial Services—a major global investor in multiple energy generation and distribution projects and companies—and Bankers Commercial Corporation each own 50 percent of the wind farm. Funds from the sale will be used to pay off construction loans Terra-Gen entered into for the project last March. Financial details were not disclosed.
The Alta Wind I farm is the first phase of the Alta Wind Energy Center, a planned 3,000-megawatt project. The first 1,550 megawatts of the center, including this phase, is contracted to Southern California Edison. When complete, the center will be able to provide electricity for 1.3 million California homes. Terra-Gen estimates the center will create more than 3,000 domestic manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance jobs, and will contribute more than $1.2 billion to Kern County’s economy. According to Terra-Gen, the center is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 52 million metric tons over the next decade, equivalent to taking 890,000 cars off the road. The wind farms will help California meet its goal of ensuring that by 2020, 33 percent of the power it consumes comes from renewable sources. Alta Wind I is the first project to connect with Southern California Edison’s Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, the first major transmission project in California to be constructed specifically for accessing a renewable-rich resource area. When completed, the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project will consist of more than 250 miles of new and upgraded high-voltage transmission infrastructure. The project is eligible for a U.S. Treasury grant created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It allows renewable energy project owners to access a cash grant in lieu of tax credits.
GE Energy Financial Services’ experts invest globally with a long-term view, backed by the best of GE’s technical know-how, financial strength and rigorous risk management, across the capital spectrum, in one of the world’s most capital-intensive industries, energy. GE Energy Financial Services helps its customers and GE grow through new investments, strong partnerships, and optimization of its $21 billion in assets. GE Energy Financial Services is based in Stamford, Connecticut. For more information visit www.geenergyfinancialservices.com.
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $79.8 billion at September 30, 2010. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., is a full service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 397 banking offices in California, Washington, Oregon and Texas, as well as two international offices, on September 30, 2010. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the world’s largest financial organizations. Visit www.unionbank.com for more information.