NEW YORK - Google Inc said on Monday it and two Japanese partners will pay General Electric Co about $500 million for a majority equity stake in the world's largest wind farm, under construction in Oregon.
The $2 billion Shepherds Flat project, near Arlington, Oregon, is due to be completed next year. It will stretch over 30 square miles of north-central Oregon and generate enough energy for 235,000 U.S. homes. The site's developer is Caithness Energy.
Measured by its 845-megawatts of capacity, the site is the world's largest wind farm, Google and GE said.
GE said the collaboration was part of its strategy of drawing private investment to the U.S. wind market. GE and Google are partnering with the U.S. unit of Japan's Sumitomo Corp and a unit of Itochu Corp.
Google, Itochu and Sumitomo will together own 56 percent of the total project, reducing GE's equity stake to 34 percent. Caithness will own the balance, GE Energy Financial Services spokesman Andy Katell said.
The site will eventually use GE 338 turbines and will provide electricity to Southern California Edison, a unit of Edison International.
Google said its investment totaled about $100 million.
Sumitomo jointly owns a Texas wind farm with GE and owns wind farms in Japan and China. Itochu partnered with GE on an Oklahoma wind farm. Google has invested more than $350 million in the clean energy sector. Earlier this month, it invested in a solar project near Berlin.
(Reporting by Nick Zieminski, editing by Bernard Orr)
Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.
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