By JOHN COLLINS RUDOLF
A consortium of Chinese and American companies announced a joint venture on Thursday to build a 600-megawatt wind farm in West Texas, using turbines made in China.
Construction of the $1.5 billion wind farm will be financed largely by Chinese banks, with the help of loan guarantees and cash grants from the United States government.
“This wind farm project came about thanks to the openness of the United States for investments in the field of renewable energy,” said John S. Lin, chief operating officer of A-Power Energy Generation Systems, which is part of the consortium building the project.
The wind farm will be the first instance of a Chinese manufacturer exporting wind turbines to the United States, said Yang Yazhou, vice mayor of the city of Shenyang, where the wind turbines will be manufactured.
The farm, to be built on 36,000 acres in West Texas, will use 240 of its 2.5-megawatt turbines. Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2010, and the project is expected to create 300 temporary jobs and about 30 permanent jobs. Six hundred megawatts of wind power is enough to meet the electricity needs of between 135,000 and 180,000 American homes for a year.
Other partners include the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, an investment firm, and a wind-farm developer, Cielo Wind Power of Austin, TX.