Google and subsidiaries of the ITOCHU and Sumitomo corporations have announced plans to invest $500 million in the $2 billion wind farm. The project has so far been developed by GE and Caithness Energy.
ITOCHU’s subsidiary is Tyr Energy, which owns a mixture of gas, geothermal and natural gas projects. Sumitomo is investing through its US arm, which owns the 120MW Stanton wind project in Texas.
Shepherds Flat, which is being built near Arlington, Oregon, is set to be the US’s largest wind farm. Its 2.5MW GE turbines have been installed on the first 265MW phase while building on the second 290MW section is underway.
Google became a wind project owner last year when it acquired two developments in North Dakota with a combined capacity of 169.5MW.
In October last year, The US Department of Energy (DOE) has offered a partial guarantee on a $1.3 billion loan to finance the project, which has a 20-year PPA with Southern California Edison.
The DOE said the cash is expected to come from a group of institutional developers and commercial banks including Citi, RBS Securities and West LB.
Speaking about the Google investment, Rick Needham, Google director of green business operations said "This project is particularly attractive because it deploys advanced turbine technology while delivering clean, renewable energy. We hope that our support for Shepherds Flat encourages more investment in this sector, and accelerates the development of clean energy resources across the country."