Wind Energy, Waste, Wildlands

The Ocotillo Express Wind energy project threatens the fragmentation and destruction of over 23 square miles of public land adjacent to Anza-Borrego State Park in the Sonoran Desert of California.  The swath of land -- as big as the city of San Diego -- is a beautiful desert vista ringed by mountains near the small town of Ocotillo, but the project would etch miles of wide roads into the desert and build over 150 wind turbines that are equal in height to 30-story skyscrapers. The project would require tons of cement and steel, and the spinning blades will pose a danger to threatened bird species.  The project would be owned by Pattern Energy Group.  Renewable energy does not have to be so destructive-- solar panels on rooftops, over parking lots, and on already-disturbed lands can meet our energy needs without destroying wildlands.

(Click image to expand) If the Ocotillo Express Wind project is built, it will industrialize a pristine desert landscape the size of San Diego.  The Google Earth image above shows the project footprint overlayed on the San Diego metro area.  It will consist of nearly150 wind turbines, standing 30 stories tall.  That is more tall structures than most American cities have.
The Bureau of Land Management is currently considering the proposal, and has published a draft environmental impact statement.   The deadline for public comments is Thursday, 6 October 2011.
Comments may be sent to Cedric Perry, Project Manager, by mail: 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA, 92553; phone: (951) 697-5388; or email .
Basin and Range Watch has some great photos and a description of the plant and wildlife on their website.  The project would destroy habitat for the Western Burrowing Owl, foraging area for the Peninsula Bighorn Sheep and further endanger the flat-tailed horned lizard.  Golden eagles have also been active in the area, and could be killed by the turbines, as has occurred with other wind projects in California.

Send your public comments today to express your concern that the Ocotillo Express Wind project will have irreparable negative impacts on our wildlife and landscapes that are not acceptable and -- considering the more efficient alternative of distributed generation -- are unnecessary.  Tell the BLM to select the "No Action Alternative" to save these lands from unnecessary industrialization.

The Google Earth image below shows the Ocotillo Express wind energy project at its actual proposed site, just south and east of Anza-Borrego State Park.  You can view and download the project description and other maps from the BLM's website.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great visual Shaun,
    Really drives home the scale of this ridiculous, unnecessary project.

    Bob B


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