Getting wind in California

Shell WindEnergy, a US division of Shell Renewables, has signed an agreement to acquire the 41MW Cabazon Pass windpark in the San Gorgonio Pass area, west of Palm Springs in California. The acquisition brings Shell WindEnergy’s capacity in the US to 171 MW.

The Cabazon Pass windpark will be built by Cannon Power Corporation, with 62 Vestas 660 kW turbines. It is scheduled to begin generating electricity by the end of August 2002.

The electricity will be sold under a power purchase agreement to the California Department of Water Resources.

California pioneered wind development in the US, being the first state to develop large-scale wind parks in the early 1980s. 90% of the installed wind capacity is spread across four states in the US with 50% in California. The San Gorgonio Pass has over 1,300 turbines installed, generating 420 MW.

Overall, more than 3,000 MW of wind energy projects are currently being developed or evaluated by Shell in the US and Europe.

Shell WindEnergy operates two other wind parks in the US – Rock River 1 (50MW) in Wyoming and White Deer (80MW) in Texas.