Ocotillo Wind Project Begins Habitat Destruction

A Federal judge yesterday denied a petition by the Quechan tribe to halt construction of a destructive wind energy project in the Colorado Desert just south of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California.  The nearly 16 square mile project is expected to destroy cultural sites of significance to the tribe, fragment and destroy habitat, and kill bats, raptors and other birds with 112 turbines, each towering over 400 feet tall.  The project will feed energy customers over 60 miles away in San Diego, where conservationists argue rooftop solar can be installed instead of relying on the remote wind project.  San Diego has already reached over 4,500 rooftop solar installations, and California has installed over 1,000 megawatts of rooftop solar  --  over 3 times the amount that will be generated by the massive Ocotillo Express wind project. And that's just the beginning of California's distributed generation potential.   Hopefully our clean energy future will focus more on covering rooftops than destroying wildlands.

A photo of the desert that will be industrialized by over 112 giant wind turbines and fragmented by access roads. Photo by Basin and Range Watch.
A photo of the beginning of destruction at the Ocotillo Win Express project, as Pattern Energy's construction crews have begun to destroy the vegetation.  Photo by Jim Pelley.

An outline of the size of the Ocotillo Wind project is super-imposed on the city of San Diego. The project will industrialize a swath of desert wildlands that is as big as the city where enough rooftops can host solar panels to make the wind project unnecessary.





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