Ocotillo Wind Project Connected to Sunrise Powerlink

OWEF construction1In an exciting linkage between two major energy infrastructure projects that Aspen worked on recently, Pattern Energy Group’s Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility is officially online and generating renewable wind energy, which is being transmitted to power load centers by San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDG&E) Sunrise Powerlink Project. The Ocotillo and Sunrise projects are both key to helping California meet the State’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires Investor-Owned Utilities such as SDG&E to deliver 33 percent of their power from renewable sources, such as the Ocotillo project, by 2020. Energy generation and transmission are both key factors to successfully meeting the RPS requirements, designed to reduce the quantity of greenhouse gases generated in the energy market, and ultimately to reduce contributions towards global warming and climate change.

Aspen prepared the CEQA and NEPA environmental analyses for both the Ocotillo and Sunrise projects, which involved resolution of unique issues, extensive permitting support, and continued mitigation monitoring and reporting assistance. At full build-out, the Ocotillo project will generate 265 megawatts of renewable wind energy, using 112 wind turbines, 94 of which are operational as of December 2012. The Sunrise project is currently built and operational, spanning 150 miles between Imperial and San Diego Counties. Aspen’s work on both of these projects included extensive public involvement and agency coordination to address sensitive issues and concerns associated with constructing large infrastructure projects in relatively remote areas and across multiple jurisdictions. Both projects have been in the news, including this recent article in the Sacramento Bee.