Federal and State Agencies Publish Final Environmental Documents for the Tule Wind Power Project
Tule Wind is on track to begin Major Use Permit hearings with the County of San Diego
Click Here for a PDF version of this press release.
October 14, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — After more than five years of comprehensive environmental studies, the Tule Wind Power Project took a major step forward today with the release of the Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement (EIR/S) by the Bureau of Land Management and the California Public Utilities Commission.
Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. is proposing Tule Wind, an up to 200 MW wind energy facility, for the McCain Valley in Eastern San Diego County. The Tule Wind Power Project, as proposed, will bring clean energy to 60,000 San Diego-area homes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 230,000 tons and reduce water use by 149 million gallons per year over gas-fired generation.
“Years of environmental studies have found that Tule Wind will have very low impact to cultural, wildlife and natural resources,” said Harley McDonald, business developer for Iberdrola Renewables. “East County’s tremendous wind resource can provide an important source of much-needed clean energy to San Diego.”
The San Diego County Planning Commission is expected to review the Tule Wind Major Use Permit application later this year; the Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the permit early next year. Upon approval of the Major Use Permit, the project is expected to go into construction with the goal of being online by the end of 2012.
In addition to providing vast environmental benefits, Tule Wind will be a boon to the region’s economy by providing:
- $5 million per year in property tax revenue to the County of San Diego
- Support of approximately 915 jobs in the San Diego economy during construction – including ancillary supply chain and manufacturing jobs
- 10-12 new permanent jobs onsite during operations, with an additional 28 jobs supported each year in supply chain and manufacturing
- $30 million in Sales & Use Tax during construction
- $1 million in annual payments to landowners and tribes
- $1 million over 30 years in campground improvements and maintenance in McCain Valley
Tule Wind enjoys broad-based support from San Diego residents and businesses that want to protect the environment, improve air quality, and spur economic development for the region.
“CleanTECH San Diego is keenly interested in not only the region's air quality, but also economic opportunities that create jobs for our region,” said Jim Waring, president and CEO, CleanTECH San Diego. “As a leader in the clean energy economy, we support the development of renewable energy projects that further diversify our energy resources. To this end, we encourage the County Board of Supervisors to approve Tule Wind as proposed, to fuel the region’s economy and meet clean air mandates.”
Tule Wind will be located primarily on Bureau of Land Management and Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians tribal land, with small portions located on private and state land.
The Ewiiaapaayp Tribe sees Tule Wind as a significant opportunity to honor its cultural history while demonstrating its respect for the natural environment. “The Tribe needs to put to work its sole asset – its wind resource – and San Diego needs a local and responsible source of clean energy,” said Robert Pinto Sr., tribal chairman, Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians.
“We are unable to think of a better way to honor our history of respect for our tribal lands than by developing this important and abundant clean energy source for the benefit of all species,” continued Pinto. “Indisputably, wind energy is the most environmentally friendly means of generating electricity.”
The Tule Wind Power Project EIR/S was performed in accordance with guidelines set forth by the California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act, and was studied jointly with the proposed San Diego Gas & Electric East County Substation and Sempra Energy’s Energia Sierra Juarez’ Gen-Tie Line.
Link to Final EIR/S:
For more information about the Tule Wind Power Project, please visit www.TuleWind.com.
About Iberdrola Renewables
Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. is headquartered in Portland, Ore., with more than 850 employees at the end of 2010. It is part of the Iberdrola global group, the world's leading provider of wind power with more than 12,700 megawatts of renewable energy in operation around the world, and more than 4,700 megawatts of that wind power located in the U.S. www.iberdrolarenewables.us