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Tecate, Baja California, Mexico

Energia Sierra Juarez Wind Energy Project First Phase Tecate Municipality, Baja California

Status: Completed Construction

Background

The wind farm will be located in the Sierra Juarez mountain range with elevations ranging between 1,200 and 1,400 meters (3,937 and 4,600 ft.) above sea level. According to the results of the wind assessment study using data collected since 2005, this region has excellent wind resources, with annual mean wind speeds in the neighborhood of 8.2
meters/second at hub heights of 79.5, 84, and 85 meters.

The electricity generated by the project will be sold to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sempra Energy, providing service to more than 2.25 million electricity and natural gas customers over an area that covers most of San Diego County and part of Orange County.

Under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) electric service providers regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission must achieve goals of 20% of retails sales from
renewables by the end of 2013, 25% by the end of 2016, and the 33% by the end of 2020. In 2011, natural gas was the largest single fuel power source for California, accounting for 62.4% of total installed capacity, followed by other renewables at 11.7%, hydroelectric
generation at 18.8%, nuclear at 6.4%, and coal at 0.7%. The Energía Sierra Juarez 1 Wind project will help support compliance with this standard.

Description

The project consists of designing, building, and operating a 155.1 MW wind farm and constructing a 7.7 km (4.8 mi) transboundary, doublecircuit transmission line to deliver the energy from the wind farm to the SDG&E East County (ECO) Substation.

The wind farm will be constructed on approximately 5,300 hectares (13,100 acres) of leased land in the Ejido Jacume, using 47 wind turbines, each with a nominal capacity of 3.3 MW. Each turbine will be equipped with a computer control system and connected via fiber optic
cables to a SCADA system for remote control and monitoring. The project also entails the construction of a substation to step up the electricity to 230 kV for delivery to the SDG&E grid, three meteorological towers, and operation and maintenance facilities.

The 230-kV, double-circuit transmission line will connect the wind farm to the ECO Substation. Approximately 6.5 km (4.04 mi) of the transmission line will be installed in Mexico, from the project site to the U.S.-Mexico border, while the remaining 1.2 km (0.75 mi) will be installed in the United States, from the border to the point of interconnection at the ECO Substation. The transmission line will also be used to import energy from the ECO Substation for the start-up of project operations.

Benefits

The project will displace greenhouse gases produced by traditional
fossil-fuel based energy generation and thus help improve air quality,
while providing residents of San Diego County, California, with a safe,
reliable energy alternative. Estimated emission improvements include
the displacement of over 125,809 metric tons/year of carbon dioxide
(CO2) and 189 metric tons/year of nitrogen oxides (NOx). The project
is expected to generate electricity equivalent to the annual consumption
of approximately 70,832 households

Project Financing

Total Project Cost Reserved
NADB Funding US 39.16M - NADB Loan
Other Funding Partners Market - rate loan