World's Largest Wind Farm Gets $1.3 Billion Loan Guarantee from Government

The Department of Energy announces that it has finalized a $1.3 billion loan guarantee for the world's largest wind farm located in Oregon.

“Renewable energy investments like these are creating jobs while helping to maintain America’s global competitiveness in the clean energy economy,” said DoE Secretary Chu. “By leveraging our nation’s vast natural resources, we can help provide alternative sources of energy and stimulate economic growth and job creation.”

The Caithness Shepherds Flat wind facility in eastern Oregon, sponsored by Caithness Energy and GE Energy Financial Services, is funded by a consortium of 26 American and International investors. It is located on 32,000 acres of land in Gilliam and Morrow counties

“Today tells a story about the power of collaboration,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski of Oregon. “State policies coupled with investments from the federal government, local governments, private sector partners and landowners created the environment in which we are able to create new jobs, new clean forms of energy and new opportunities that better our state and our nation.”

With a power of 845 MW, the project is the world's largest, and will power up to 235,000 homes in California under a long-term power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison.

The wind farm will be the first in the US to be equipped with the GE 2.5xl wind turbines, assembled in Florida. 338 of the turbines will be installed in 2011 and 2012 at a cost of $1.48 billion. The contract with GE also provide maintenance and operations services for a period of 10 years.

According to Steve Bolze, President & CEO of GE Power & Water, the contract is this year's largest for GE, and is GE's 3rd largest worldwide order ever.

"This project underscores our commitment to harness the power of wind to meet present and future energy needs while reducing greenhouse emissions. The Shepherds Flat project will add more renewable energy to the West Coast's energy mix and help the region meet its demand for clean energy," says Les Gelber, a partner at Caithness Energy.

The project will create 400 construction jobs, and when completed, will provide full-time green jobs to 35 employees.