Pattern Energy Group LP's Ocotillo Wind project in Southern California reached commercial operation in December and is transmitting energy to the Sunrise Powerlink, a newly constructed 117-mile 500-kV transmission line linking San Diego and the Imperial Valley.
The Ocotillo Wind project, a 265 MW wind power project in Imperial Valley, has 94 turbines that are erected and operational. The remaining 18 turbines will be installed in the spring. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Pattern to purchase the sale of energy produced by the project.
The Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, completed in June 2012, connects San Diego with the Imperial Valley. The Sunrise Powerlink will eventually carry 1,000 MW of additional power into San Diego, or enough energy to serve 650,000 homes.
The transmission line was put into service in June 2012. The line may eventually carry power from more than a half dozen other renewable energy projects.
Once fully operational, the Ocotillo Wind project will provide enough clean and renewable energy to power nearly 125,000 homes in Southern California each year. Construction of the project has created over 350 jobs, using many workers and subcontractors from the local region. Ocotillo Wind will also generate substantial tax revenues over the next 30 years, benefiting Imperial County and local schools, among others.
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 using 112 Siemens 2.37 MW wind 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.
Pattern's team of meteorologists has conducted three years of extensive wind studies demonstrating that the Ocotillo project site has excellent wind resource. In addition, the project site has been identified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as the best wind resource in Imperial Valley.
Ocotillo Wind will be Pattern Energy's sixth operating wind project and will bring the Company's total to more than 1,000 MW of installed wind power capacity. The Company's Santa Isabel Wind project in Puerto Rico also achieved commercial operation in December. Pattern expects to bring a number of wind projects into construction over the next 12 months.