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El Centro, California, USA

Ocotillo Express Wind Energy Project

Status: Completed Construction

Background

The electricity produced by the project will be sold to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a wholly-owned subsidy of Sempra Energy, providing service to more than 3.5 million electricity and natural gas customers over an area that covers all San Diego County and the southern part of Orange County. SDG&E is a fully vertically integrated utility engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Its generation portfolio is well-diversified and totaled roughly 4 GW in 2011, of which 13% was renewable energy.

California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires that electric service providers regulated by the California Public Utilities commission 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. This project is part of SDG&E’s plan to comply with this standard

Description

The project consists of designing, constructing and operating a 265.4- megawatt (MW) wind farm, using 112 wind turbines, each with a nominal capacity of 2.37 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 500 kV for delivery to the SDG&E grid, a switchyard to connect to the grid and an operation and maintenance facility with permanent administrative, maintenance and storage structures.

The wind farm will be connected to the new 115-mile SDG&E Sunrise Powerlink 500-kV transmission line scheduled for completion in 2012. The point of interconnection will be located just east of the San Diego/Imperial county line.

Benefits

The project is expected to benefit the residents of San Diego County, where the power generated by the project will be consumed, by increasing installed capacity of renewable energy resources, reducing the demand on traditional fossil-fuel-based energy production and contributing to the displacement of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from power generation by fossil fuels. Estimated emission improvements include the displacement of 175,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 264 metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) per year. The Project is expected to provide sufficient electricity for the equivalent of more than 120,000 households. In addition, Imperial County residents will benefit from the anticipated economic development and the growth of the tax base stimulated by the construction and operation of the project.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost Reserved
NADB Funding US 110M - NADB Loan