Sempra Energy to install 1,2 GW of wind power in Baja California (Mexico)

The wind farm, which could cover a total surface area of 294 hectares on completion, will comprise a thousand wind turbines.

Sempra Energy has announced plans to build a macro wind farm, with a total capacity of between 1,000 and 1,200 MW, in four areas in Mexico’s Baja California.

Jacume, La Rumorosa, Cordillera Molina and Sierra de Juárez, which are located in the municipalities of Mexicali, Tecate and Ensenada, have been chosen for the first stages of this major wind energy project.

The first stage of the wind power project, located north of the village of La Rumorosa, will consist of 52 wind turbines and will cost $300 million to build. In total, Sempra Energy will invest up to $5.5 billion on the entire project.

Once the three remaining stages are constructed, only 5.12 hectares of the total allocation of 294 hectares will be used, representing just 2 % of the total area. The agreement regarding the Baja California wind energy project establishes that other areas will be built as new contracts for the supply of clean, renewable electricity for the United States or Mexico market are commissioned.

Sempra Energy also reported that certain areas will remain free of wind turbines, because of their archaeological value (the "Vallecitos" area for instance) or because they are protected natural areas such as the 1857 Constitution National Park.

Sempra Energy was founded in 1998 and is based in San Diego (California). It has 13,800 employees worldwide, and develops energy infrastructure, operates utilities, and provides related products and services to more than 29 million consumers around the world.

Sempra also set to harvest wind energy in Hawaii. Back in October 2009, Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, acquired Auwahi Wind Energy LLC, a company developing a 22-MW wind energy and battery storage project in Maui (Hawaii), from Shell WindEnergy Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell.

The proposed Auwahi Wind Energy project could begin construction in 2011 and commence commercial operations in 2012 on the Ulupalakua Ranch in the remote southeastern region of Maui.