An ECM special investigative report:
Serious questions raised over industry claims on wind production here and around the world
By Miriam Raftery
Photos and videos by Jim Pelley
January 23, 2013 (Ocotillo) – Since taxpayer dollars were used to fund the destruction of public lands for the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility, why won’t the federal government tell us how much power the project is producing?
Engineer and award-winning photojournalist Jim Pelley lives in Ocotillo. A series of videos shot nearly each day since the wind project went online December 5, 2012 raises serious questions. Turbines are not turning , or scarcely moving, in nearly all of the videos shot in December and January. Wind speed readings and weather reports further suggest wind speed measurements are far below the minimum needed for the project to produce any power at all—let alone the levels claimed by developer Pattern Energy.
When the project went online December 5, Pattern claimed that with wind forecasts looking “favorable” it expected to power more than 125,000 homes. http://news.yahoo.com/video/controversial-ocotillo-wind-farm-goes-025000610.html. But Ocotillo residents have long voiced concerns that their area lacks sustained strong winds needed to power the massive, controversial wind project on public lands that has been opposed by tribes, environmental groups and most residents.
After viewing videos bolstering concerns over lack of wind, East County Magazine sought public records to learn how much power has been produced. The shocking result? Federal and state authorities claim they don't know--and further, that public officials and the public have no right to find out.