Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility – Is It a Lot of Hot Air?

If Ocotillo Express, LLC, the proponent behind the proposed Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility, has its way, this is what the valley floor surrounding Ocotillo on the western edge of Imperial County would look like in a few years.

The Draft EIS/EIR for the proposed project is now available for public review.  The visual simulation pictured above is one of many figures included in this extensive report.  Under federal and state environmental and related laws, the backers of the wind energy facility must analyze the impacts likely to be caused by the proposed project, relative to other alternatives including the “no action” alternative.  This process is important because it provides the public with the opportunity to review the Draft EIS/EIR and to offer comments and criticism to help the proponent and the federal, state, and local agencies better understand the costs and benefits that woud likely result from the proposed project.

What some Kwatsans may not know is that this project is just down the road from the Tessera Solar’s Imperial Valley Solar Energy Project that came to a halt as a result of the Quechan Indian Tribe’s lawsuit.  The Ocotillo area is not only a relatively undisturbed desert region, but it also is replete with cultural resources—artifacts, trails, circles, and the like.  If you care about cultural resources of the Hokan people and their friends, we invite you to take a look at the Draft EIS/EIR and share your thoughts.  The Bureau of Land Management has established 10/06/2011 as the deadline for written comments.

Here’s the link to the Draft EIS/EIR at the Imperial County Planning & Development Services’ website:  http://www.icpds.com/?pid=2843.  You can also access the Draft EIS/EIR at the Bureau of Land Management’s website:  http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/nepa/ocotillo_express_wind.html.  Don’t worry…both of these links take you to a page from which you can choose the chapter or Appendix of the Draft EIS/EIR that you want to look at.

Also—for you newshounds—here’s a Reuters story published on 06/03/2011 about Tessera Solar and its sale of the Imperial Valley Solar Energy Project to AES Solar:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/03/idUS37305160020110603.



  1. so is there any other solar power plants put in for the plans for the area? what about the solar tower idea or the solar steam plants? is it the surrounding mountains here cuz i dont feel wind around here every day? im all for solar in the desert. the 1 thing that is killing us is the 1 thing that will save us.

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