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Wind power supersizes south of Tracy
This 390-foot wind turbine at the Teichert sand and gravel facility off of Highway 132 will drastically cut down on their electric bill and could start a new wave of joint ventures with renewable energy companies. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
TRACY – The 390-foot tower dominates the skyline of South Tracy.

And in this particular case, something reaching that far into the sky when nothing else is around is a good thing.

Friday morning Foundation Windpower and Teichert Aggregates officially unveiled a 1.5 megawatt wind turbine generator that will deliver on-site renewable energy to the Teichert Aggregates sand and gravel operation just outside of Tracy – allowing the plant to drastically reduce the amount of power needed to operate such a facility. The power production, by comparison, dwarfs that generated by a windmill on the Altamont Pass.

The location south of Tracy is ideal for wind power. Friday, for example, brought wind ranging from 12 to 35 mph.

The $4 million project was financed and developed by the San Francisco-based Foundation Windpower which did all of the leg work from determining the wind resource, organizing the installation, and securing the necessary funding for construction.

It was a move that had the Teichert brass ecstatic.

“We are pleased to have Foundation Windpower on our site generating renewable energy for our plant and making our community and its surrounding environment cleaner,” said Teichert Aggregates President Dana Davis.”

“The new wind turbine provides renewable energy that lowers our operating costs and helps us compete in a market and keep our 50 employees working at the plant.”

With California’s renewable portfolio standard requiring that 20 percent of all electricity being generated from renewable sources by this year, the turbine both meets that requirement and then some with its massive generating power.

According to Foundation Windpower CEO Matt Wilson, projects like this are just the start of what Californians can expect to see in coming years as the push towards a greener tomorrow takes shape.

“We are committed to improving California’s environment, reducing the need for new transmission lines, and decreasing our state’s need to import energy by producing clean energy that is more cost effective than any other distributed resources available,” Wilson said. “This unique configuration generating on-site renewable energy is the first in many projects that our company has in its pipeline.”