Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern) today announced that the California Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) awarded the Ocotillo Wind project with its highest award for Outstanding Environmental Analysis and Documentation at a joint conference of AEP and the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP).
This announcement corrects a previous version that mistakenly stated an award was presented by the NAEP. The award and all comments about it should be attributed to the AEP.
The AEP awards jury found the Ocotillo Wind project’s environmental review analysis was rigorous and included an extensive public outreach program and complex multi-agency approval process. The analysis also featured innovative analytical techniques including a state-of-the-art radar system linked to video recorders to monitor avian and big horn sheep activity.
“We are honored by the award, which underscores our commitment to environmental excellence,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “We are proud to implement the most advanced technologies available to avoid impacts on environmental resources. We are pleased with the current operation of the project, which is providing clean energy to Southern California, and we look forward to continuing the implementation of the project’s environmental commitments and community benefits program.”
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was the federal lead agency for the Ocotillo Wind project, with Imperial County as state co-lead. The BLM hired Aspen Environmental Group to conduct the environmental review process. Aspen also received biological consultation from HELIX Environmental Planning and archaeological consultation from Tierra Environmental Services.
The Ocotillo Wind project, a 265 megawatt (MW) wind power project in the Imperial Valley, has 94 turbines that are operational. The remaining 18 turbines will be installed and operational by mid-year. The Ocotillo Wind project will provide enough clean and renewable energy to power nearly 125,000 homes in Southern California each year.
More than 500 workers participated in the construction of the project, which used many subcontractors from the local region. Nearly 70% of the Ocotillo Wind project was ‘made in America,’ utilizing 112 Siemens wind towers, blades and nacelles that were manufactured in the United States. Ocotillo Wind will also generate substantial tax revenues over the next 30 years, benefiting Imperial County and local schools, among others.
Ocotillo Wind is the first renewable energy project to transmit power over the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, which connects San Diego with the Imperial Valley