Following a competitive solicitation run by the State of California, Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners – through its Quinbrook Low Carbon Power Fund – has been awarded a long-term lease to repower the Gonzaga Ridge Wind Farm, located in Pacheco State Park in central California.
The lease was secured by Scout Clean Energy, a Colorado-based developer and operator of U.S. wind projects and a Quinbrook portfolio company. The lease awards Scout the exclusive right to build, own and operate a new wind project at the Gonzaga site.
Scout plans to replace the existing 1980s wind turbines with modern technology. The project is expected to increase the production capacity of the wind farm from 16.5 MW to an expected 65 MW to 80 MW – representing an approximately 500% increase, says Quinbrook.
“This iconic project represents an exciting opportunity to help the State of California meet its ever-increasing renewable energy needs,” says Michael Rucker, CEO of Scout Clean Energy. “California has been a pioneer of wind power since the ’70s, and these days, virtually all of California’s viable onshore wind resource sites are already built out. By repowering Pacheco Pass and equipping it with today’s advanced wind turbine technology, we hope to set a new and important precedent for unlocking more renewable power from recycling older existing wind power sites located across California and other U.S. states with cost-effective new capacity. This is truly a ‘getting more for less’ proposition.”
The new project will connect to the grid in the California Independent System Operator’s NP15 zone, a major distribution point and market hub for northern California. The new wind farm will continue to provide royalty revenues to the California Department of Parks and Recreation to fund the operations of the park and related support functions.
“Gonzaga Ridge’s unique location near the Bay Area, as well as its connectivity to major distribution points on California’s electricity grid, provides a rare opportunity to improve the productivity of a vintage wind farm that is a part of the history of renewable energy in the state,” comments Shawn Cumberland, senior managing director of Quinbrook.