Electricity from the largest wind power farm on Indian land has begun flowing into California’s power-hungry grid thanks to a partnership between project sponsor, global investment and advisory firm Babcock & Brown (ASX:BNB) and GE Energy Financial Services. Energy Financial Services invested $51 million in the 50-megawatt Kumeyaay Wind project near San Diego.
The wind farm comprises 25 turbines that each can generate two megawatts of electricity. After eight months of construction and a month of testing, the turbines are feeding power into the San Diego Gas & Electric grid from the Campo Indian Reservation atop the Tecate Divide 70 miles east of San Diego and 18 miles north of the Mexican border. Babcock & Brown, which will retain a substantial equity interest and remain the long-term manager, has six wind facilities in the United States that will go into service by year’s end.
“The Kumeyaay project represents significant growth of our already sizeable renewable energy portfolio. Consistent with GE’s ecomagination initiative, it builds on our investments earlier this year in seven German wind farms, and continues our productive relationship with Babcock & Brown,” said Alex Urquhart, President and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services.
Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to expand its portfolio of “cleaner” energy products while reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions.
I know some of you have been even more critical of GE than me; I’m skeptical, but don’t want to completely write them off, as a corporation of this size could make a huge impact. Kumeyaay Wind looks like a promising, even responsible, development, not only because of its green contribution, but also because diversifies income for the Campo tribe that’s leasing the land for the turbines.