Power to be Delivered across Sunrise Powerlink
Ferburary 4, 2011 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Pattern Energy yesterday announced a 20-year contract for 315 megawatts (MW) of wind energy to be generated at Pattern’s Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility near Ocotillo, Calif., approximately 25 miles west of El Centro in the Imperial Valley.
If all government approvals are provided on a timely basis, Pattern plans to complete the project by the end of 2012 to coincide with a 2012 in-service date for the 500-kilovolt Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, currently under construction. This substantial project will produce enough renewable wind energy to serve more than 130,000 households a year, according to SDG&E.
“This project presents a unique opportunity for a significant volume of environmentally-friendly power to be delivered to our customers, reaffirming SDG&E’s ongoing commitment to secure regional renewable resources for the San Diego area,” said James P. Avery, senior vice president of power supply for SDG&E. “This renewable resource is precisely the type of project the Sunrise Powerlink was designed to support.”
“Pattern is proud to help bring a premier wind farm to the Imperial Valley, creating a strong number of jobs, as well as a local source of clean and renewable energy for the future,” said Mike Garland, chief executive officer of Pattern Energy. “In addition to creating an operations and maintenance team with up to 20 permanent positions, this wind project will create hundreds of construction jobs in the Imperial Valley, providing a strong boost to the local economy.”
“Pattern Energy’s wind project is exactly the kind of economic jumpstart the Imperial Valley needs,” said Tim Kelley, chief executive officer of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation. “New construction will generate green energy jobs and help spur additional economic growth in a region known for its vast renewable resource potential.”
Wind farms are not without controversy. Other major wind farms proposed in Imperial and/or San Diego County recently have drawn objections over bird kill rates, destruction of cultural resources, alleged health impacts on area residents, view disruptions, and impact on activities such as hiking and camping on public lands.
The Ocotillo contract still requires approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. The project is located primarily on public lands under the administration of the Bureau of Land Management, according to Beth O'Brien, government affairs and public relations, Pattern Energy.
This is the fourth renewable contract, totaling 600 MW, SDG&E has signed in the past nine months that will be transmitted across the Sunrise Powerlink. With the addition of this contract with Pattern Energy, half of the 600 MW is for wind energy and half is for solar energy in the Imperial Valley. SDG&E has committed to obtaining 33 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information on SDG&E, visit www.sdge.com.
For more information on Pattern Energy, visit www.patternenergy.com.