Ocotillo Wind farm: Four months and still VERY little Wind

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Four Months after supposedly going “online,” there seems to be very little probability  Ocotillo Wind Farm will ever live up to its promise of carrying “1,000 MW of additional power into San Diego, or enough energy to serve 650,000 homes.”

Reliability To A Region With Strained Resources

In the Press release of January 9, 2013, Michael R. Niggli, president and CEO of SDG&E , said “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.  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.”

Four Months And Still VERY Little Wind

Was this wishful thinking? While there have been times when Ocotillo’s wind speeds exceeded the 9 mph that I have been told is needed to send power down the lines, the video log at “Save Ocotillo” shows they are exceptions. On most days the winds appear to have been between 0 mph and 4 mph. To quote a recent Save Octillo video, this $600 million project would appear to be a part time Wind Farm.

(Image Credit: The March 12 video log from Save Ocotillo)

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