ENSAM Class Trip


Educating students on renewable energy is of utmost importance to the team at Alcen Renewable. So, when we received a message from Lesley Stewart, from the Office of International Training and Languages at Ingénieurs 2000,  asking us to host a field trip to Kern County for her students, we were ecstatic to have the opportunity.

Our first stop was at the Whirlwind Substation in Rosamond, California. There our CFO Tao Kong talked about the status of the United States Renewable Energy project development as well, as the energy market in California. Afterward, we had a Q&A session with the students regarding the current state of California energy transmission and the grid; as well as the topics that Tao spoke about.

Our next stop was at Tehachapi Willow Springs Road. This site has both wind and solar farms! It is very rare seeing two modes of energy collectors in the same location. Once we left this location, we were able to share a rare treat with the students…a legacy and operational wind farm…CalWind! CalWind was founded in 1984; they proudly own and operate over 300 turbines that provide energy to the Tehachapi area. We were privileged to have a tour of the facility, meet industry professionals and even go inside one of the turbines on site.

274A0050After a brief break, we headed to the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area (TWRA) where the group was introduced to Glenn Bauman, a wind energy veteran of the Tehachapi area and partner in the Tehachapi Wind Wall. Glenn greeted the students with a detailed information package and discussed the long history of energy development in Kern County.


P1040100Tehachapi Wind Wall is a project that is home to many legacy turbines dating back to the early 1980s when the Nations’ first wind farms were erected, and now is a site of a repowering project. When a site is “repowered”, older legacy machines with energy outputs of 120 kV are dismantled and removed, and new turbines with higher energy output in upwards of 1-3 MW, are put in their place.  The Wind Wall team has also been part and parcel in the construction of about 180 miles of transmissions lines, these transmission lines are extremely important to the area because transmission lines provide deliverability to transmission towers that will carry electricity from the area it is produced to the area it needs to go. Location and proximity to Transmission Towers are essential in viability scoping of wind and solar projects.P1040082



Finally, we ended our tour with a viewing of the Wind Wall and Alta XI Project. The viewpoint where we took the students shows different wind farms in the area. Some of the turbines you can see are the new technologically advanced giants, but you can also see the evolution of wind power from the beginning of commercial wind. Our last stop was at the largest wind farm in the United States, Alta XI. It is estimated that this site can produce 3,000 MegaWatts of clean, renewable energy. In one day, it produces 72 million kilowatt-hours per day. That is enough to power a whole city!

Students were excited to view many different types of wind turbines and seeing how they operate up-close while listening to the history of how the renewable energy industry has shaped the area. The field trip offered unparalleled learning opportunities for the future industry leaders and Alcen Renewable is proud to partner with educational institutes in this knowledge-seeking endeavor. 274A0060


Interested in learning more about renewable energy and the future?  Reach out to us for more information on our educational series.