Ocotillo Wind Project Online Via New Transmission Line

Joanna Schroeder

There is a new transmission line up and running between San Diego and the Imperial Valley in California. The 117-mile 500-kv transition line, “Sunrise Powerlink” is transmitting energy from the now operational Ocotillo Wind project to residents and businesses in Southern California. The 265 megawatt (MW) wind power project consists of 94 turbines with an additional 18 turbines to be installed in the spring. The project is owned by Pattern Energy, and the energy produced is being sold to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) via a 20 year power purchase agreement.

“The Ocotillo Wind project is a shining example of achieving local, state and national energy goals, while being the first renewable project to connect to the Sunrise Powerlink,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “Nearly 70% of the project was ‘made in America,’ producing local construction jobs, manufacturing jobs at the Southern California Ocotillo Wind Farm Photo: ALEJENADRO DAVILA PHOTOfactory where the towers were built and additional jobs in factories around the United States where the turbines and other components were made. The Ocotillo site has the strongest winds in the Imperial Valley, which results in attractive energy prices for San Diego County residents. We would like to thank SDG&E, California ISO, the local community leaders, and the Imperial County Board of Supervisors for their tremendous efforts in helping make the Ocotillo wind project a reality.”

The Sunrise Powerlink transmission line was completed in June 2012 and connects San Diego with the Imperial Valley – one of the most renewable-rich regions in California. The Sunrise Powerlink will eventually carry 1,000 MW of additional power into San Diego, or enough energy to serve 650,000 homes.

The project was selected by the Bureau of Land Management, and utilizes 112 Siemens 2.37 MW turbines, including American made wind towers, blades and nacelles. The Ocotillo Wind project was selected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to help America reach its clean energy goals and protect its future energy security. The project is utilizing 112 Siemens 2.37 MW turbines, including American-made Siemens wind towers, blades and nacelles. The towers are made in California, manufactured by Ameron International, while the blades are made in Iowa and the nacelles are made in Kansas.

“When the Sunrise Powerlink was put into service this past June, it instantly brought reliability to a region with strained resources; one of the key reasons why the transmission line was designed,” said Michael R. Niggli, president and chief operating officer of SDG&E.  “Six months later, the line is carrying its first green contracted megawatts, solidifying another reason SDG&E proposed and built this project. We applaud Pattern Energy’s perseverance in seeing this project through and we look forward to the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility being the first of more than a half dozen other renewable projects in Imperial County to connect to the Sunrise Powerlink.”

Alternative energy, Electricity, Energy, Wind