The spinning blades of Ocotillo Wind Express were always meant to generate energy for San Diego, renewable energy that is now running on the Sunrise PowerLink for the first time.
This transmission line is expected to eventually transport 1,000 megawatts of power.
“It’s very exciting and it’s (Ocotillo Wind Express), the first of many projects to come,” said Jennifer Ramp, spokeswoman for SDG&E, who noted that four solar projects under construction will follow.
“Sunrise PowerLink has achieved its primary goal as to provide renewable energy to California with the coming online of the windmill project,” said Imperial County Deputy Director of Planning and Development Jim Minnick.
And renewable energy is what the transmission line will mostly transport, said Ramp, since SDG&E is “committed to fill it with renewable energy. … We’ve only signed renewable (energy) contracts for that line.”
Thanks to those contracts and the projects coming online, SDG&E went over 200 megawatts of renewable energy supplied Thursday, Ramp said.
But the benefits of projects coming online or the presence of the Sunrise PowerLink don’t go to San Diego alone.
The county benefits with property taxes from the projects and the transmission line.
The transmission line alone means about $3 million in property taxes for the county, said Imperial County Deputy Executive Officer Andy Horne who also noted that the Sunrise PowerLink allowed the development of the renewable energy market in the county.
“And if all the projects that are being proposed are built, there’ll probably be another transmission line eventually, maybe two or three,” said Horne who considered the completion of the Sunrise PowerLink a major step for renewable energy in the county.
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org