Ocotillo Wind Project Receives Outstanding Environmental Analysis Award
The Ocotillo Express Wind Project located on public lands in renewable-energy rich Imperial County, California, has received an Outstanding Award from both the National Association of Environmental Professionals and the California Association of Environmental Professionals. The award was presented April 2 at the NAEP annual conference in Los Angeles.
The award recognized the Bureau of Land Management’s environmental analysis, management of the complex multi-agency approval process, extensive public outreach, and the use of innovative analytic techniques including state-of-the-art radar systems for monitoring avian, bighorn sheep and other wildlife activity at the site. The BLM was the lead federal agency for NEPA review of the project, which was approved in May 2012 and came online in December. Imperial County led the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance review and Pattern Energy is the project’s proponent.
The 265-MW Ocotillo Wind Project provides clean energy to San Diego and Southern California, with 94 operational turbines and18 more to be installed on public lands this year. The project provides enough renewable energy to power nearly 125,000 homes and offset more than 288,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. It is the first renewable energy project to use the Sunrise Powerlink Transmission line connecting San Diego with the Imperial Valley.
Construction employed as many as 500 workers, many as subcontractors from the local area. Ocotillo Wind will generate significant tax revenues over the next 30 years, benefiting Imperial County and local schools.
The Ocotillo Wind Project on BLM lands in California Received an Outstanding Environmental Analysis Award in April. Photo ©2013 by Jamey Stillings, http://www.jameystillingsprojects.com