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Twenty-three new wind turbines have started spinning in the Altamont Pass to create energy for residents of 13 cities in Alameda County, unincorporated Alameda County and Tracy.
The project, known as the Scott Haggerty Wind Energy Center, will provide power for more than 47,000 homes and honor Haggerty, who was a long-time supervisor in Alameda County.
The 23 new turbines each generate 2.5 megawatts of power and replace 569 turbines that generated 100 kilowatts each. Nearly a dozen people joined in the energy center’s ribbon-cutting event Monday morning. The turbines started generating power in July.
Besides energy, the project represents millions of dollars in tax revenue for the county as well as clean energy jobs. More than 115,000 hours of union labor went into the project, officials with East Bay Community Energy said.
“The re-powering of the Altamont wind project has greatly improved environmental impact while meeting the county’s need for clean, affordable wind power,” said Mehul Mehta, executive vice president with Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company, which owns and operates the turbines.
An alternative to PG&E
The new wind farm is more wildlife-friendly and will produce energy at a lower cost for some residents and businesses who get their energy from East Bay Community Energy. The agency will start offering just two products soon, down from three.
One product is 1 percent less expensive than PG&E and contains more renewable energy than PG&E. The second product contains 100 percent renewable energy and for the average household costs about $5 more per month than PG&E.
Electricity produced by the 23 new turbines will be the main supply for the second product called EBCE’s Renewable 100 program, which serves about 100,000 customers with electricity from wind and solar power. East Bay Community Energy serves more than 1.7 million customers.
“We look forward to meeting our goal of providing all our customers with 100 percent clean energy by 2030, well ahead of California’s official 2045 target date,” said Corina Lopez, board vice chair at EBCE and city council member for San Leandro, in a statement.
EBCE started service in June 2018 and expanded to Tracy, Pleasanton and Newark in April.
“In just a few years, we’ve made great strides in bringing more affordable renewable energy and reinvesting our earnings back into the community to drive local green jobs, valuable programs, and more clean power projects,” said Nick Chaset, CEO of East Bay Community Energy, in a statement.