Tag Archives: Ocotillo

The Next Big Issue Is Social License

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The transition to renewable energy is coming faster than most people realize. The technological advances that make it the adoption of larger amounts of intermittent energy possible are also needed to reinvigorate North America’s aging grid. Though there is still much resistance from corporations and governments with vested interests, the future of the fossil fuel sector lies in finding ways to fit into a more environmentally sensitive economy. The struggle to avoid Climate Change is not over. There are still many battles ahead, but the outcome has been decided. The next big issue is social license.

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The Wind Turbines worked at Ocotillo

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMThe wind turbines at Ocotillo, in Imperial count California,  were spinning for at least part of  monday. That isn’t news, as they operate at least 15% of the time, but look at the dust in the video below. This project “went online” over 16 months ago and Ocotillo is still being hit by dust storms whenever there is a decent “blow.”
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California: Hide and Seek at Ocotillo

By Roy L Hales

the ECOreport Logo
the ECOreport Logo

The Ocotillo Wind Project may be one of the best documented “renewable projects” in the USA. Workers cannot even pee in the surrounding desert without having to worry about their being filmed by one of the village’s inhabitants. There is good reason for that. Many of villagers moved to Ocotillo because of tranquility. Only the village is surrounded by “public land” and, because of the Obama Administration’s push on renewable energy, they are now surrounded by 438 foot high wind turbines. Most of the time the blades are still, but when the turbines do turn they emit a roar which has been compared to that of a jet airplane. The towers have red lights that blink throughout the night. After the desert was torn up, a plague of dust storms., floods and white foam was unleashed upon the inhabitants. The project went online 15 months ago. Yet there are  constant  problems and the inhabitants of Ocotillo have filmed most of them.
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Second Dust Storm Strikes Ocotillo; could Desert Energy Projects Be The Cause

An ECM special investigation finds links between rise in dust storms across outhwest, Valley Fever epidemic, and installation of large-scale desert solar and wind projects

Originally Published in East County Magazine 

By Miriam Raftery

August 26, 2013 (Ocotillo)–A second dust storm has struck Ocotillo on August 25, just two days after an earlier dust storm swept through the desert community.  Dust billowed thousands of feet into the air, dwarfing  a 500 foot tall wind turbines scarcely visible in the above photo.  East County Magazine photographer Jim Pelley was in the midst of the storm and shot videos:

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Ocotillo: A Matter Of Choice

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The negative stories from Ocotillo continue …It rained for an hour last night. Normally the water would have been evenly distributed across the desert floor, but the project’s access roads channeled the water so that it became a river. You can watch the waters rising, in the video below, until photographer Jim Pelley felt it necessary to leave the area. All traffic on Highway 98 came to a stop.

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Interview With County Supervisor Dianne Jacob About Renewable Projects In East County

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1There has been a great deal of talk about little places like Campo, Boulevard and Ocotillo ever since construction began on the Sunrise Powerlink.  There have been multiple lawsuits as environmentalists, Native Americans and other East County residents have fought to protect their habitat, ancestral lands and homes from the encroaching pace of “development.” As much of this area lies within the East County District represented by County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, I sought her perspective about what is going on.
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May 22, 2013: Ocotillo Wind Project

By Jim Pelley

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1It’s been (1) week now since the blade throw at the Ocotillo Wind overseen by Pattern Energy. Wow! What a difference, we forgot what it was like without these wind turbines turning; it’s a breath of fresh air.
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The wind at Ocotillo

By Roy L Hales

In case their are any doubts, the Imperial Valley Press carried a video of the controversial Ocotillo Wind Express’ turbines in action. The last 18 turbines will be installed next Spring. “The Ocotillo Wind project is a shining example of achieving local, state and national energy goals, while being the first renewable project to connect to the Sunrise Powerlink,” said Mike Garland , CEO of Pattern Energy, said in a recent press release. The $530 million project still faces opposition from environmentalists, Ocotillo residents, and  Kumeyaay Indians. There have been numerous lawsuits.
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