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The Altamont Pass wind farm, one of the earliest wind farms in the country, includes turbines dating from the 1980s. (Photo - Doug Jorgensen)

An emblematic ribbon-cutting was held by East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) at the Scott Haggerty Wind Energy Center in the Altamont Pass last Friday to mark the start of commercial operations.

The facility, a repowered source of clean energy for residents, represents a $20 million investment in Alameda County through tax revenue to support public services. It will also sustain numerous clean energy jobs across operations and maintenance, following an initial output of more than 115,000 hours of union labor.

“As a mother of three children who are going to inherit this world, this is the work we need to be doing,” said Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-16) during the event. “We need to be working toward our goals of achieving sustainable energy.”

Bauer-Kahan thanked Scott Haggerty for his devotion and time spent serving the public. She said she was grateful to be able to honor his work at such an important event. EBCE honored Haggerty for his 25 years as an advocate for Alameda County. He served on the board of supervisors for 24 years and was an active member of multiple other boards and commissions.

Haggerty also spoke at the ribbon-cutting, thanking the stakeholders who made the achievement of local clean energy possible by providing power made in Alameda County for Alameda County.

“This is truly an honor, and I’d like the thank East Bay Community Energy for this amazing event,” Haggerty said. “I am so proud of this because this was the vision. We wanted to have sustainable power in Alameda County. I hope the board of supervisors moving forward will continue to demand that power go back to our grid.”

Livermore’s Altamont Pass was one of the earliest sites for modern-day wind power development in California and the United States. This new wind energy center replaces 569 one hundred kilowatt turbines with 23 state-of-the-art environmentally and wildlife-friendly turbines. The new wind farm will produce lower-cost electricity for thousands of residents and businesses who rely on EBCE for clean and affordable energy.

“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, owner and operator of sustainable infrastructure and energy efficiency projects. “With this project, now the largest wind asset in Greenbacker’s portfolio, we look forward to partnering with EBCE to expand access to renewable energy for the communities and stakeholders within Alameda County for decades to come.”

Greenbacker currently manages $1.5 billion in investor capital with projects spread across 32 states.

The clean electricity created from the new turbines will serve as a main supply source for EBCE's Renewable 100 program, a power mix of wind and solar energy servicing about 100,000 customers.

EBCE is a nonprofit public agency that operates a community choice energy program for Alameda County and 14 incorporated cities, serving more than 1.7 million residential and commercial customers. EBCE initiated service in 2018 and expanded to the cities of Pleasanton, Newark and Tracy in 2021. It is one of 19 community choice aggregation programs operating in California.

For more information about EBCE, visit ebce.org.