The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) for 315 MW of wind energy to be generated at Pattern Energy Group's Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility in Southern California, Pattern Energy has announced.
The project will produce enough wind energy to serve more than 130,000 households a year, Pattern Energy says.
The company has been working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and related agencies for three years to satisfy the exacting standards required to obtain the necessary permits and rights of way on BLM land.
Once all permits and government approvals have been received, Pattern will begin construction, which is expected to happen in the first half of the year. The project is scheduled to begin generating power by year-end.
The wind farm will utilize the 500 kV Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, which was recently permitted by the BLM for the purpose of transmitting renewable energy from this area. The transmission line runs directly across the project site for the 315 MW Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility, which is located near Ocotillo, Calif., in the Imperial Valley.
Pattern notes that it has been committed to respecting the cultural heritage of the area, and has funded extensive on-site cultural surveys and designed the project to completely avoid direct impacts on any and all artifacts on the site. In addition, it worked with environmental organizations to address any concerns regarding potential impacts to golden eagles, bighorn sheep and other species.
Once construction begins, Pattern will begin implementing numerous mitigation measures that will benefit various causes in the region, the company notes.