Monterey County

Construction begins on Salinas Valley's largest wind turbine

Wind turbine blades arrive in Soledad

SOLEDAD, Calif. - Three turbine blades and three tower sections were transported along Highway 101 to Soledad for the completion of what will be the largest wind turbine in Salinas Valley.

The turbine will be erected adjacent to the city of Soledad's Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Tuesday, workers planned to get the tower base and mid-section of the turbine in place, and construction of the rotor is planned for Wednesday. Work will continue Thursday and Friday, depending on wind speeds.

City officials broke ground in February for what will be the first wind turbine in Soledad, which will eventually power the Waste Water Treatment Facility.

Once online, the wind turbine will generate approximately 3.5 million kilowatt hours per year of clean, renewable energy to offset usage at the nearby water reclamation facility.

When wind is sufficient, the electricity generated is projected to exceed the facility's needs significantly, which will allow the city to net-meter the surplus back to the grid. The turbine is expected to generate more than $2 million in savings over 25 years.

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