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Wind energy project slated for tribal land

The Campo Band of Mission Indians of the Kumeyaay Nation, Invenergy and San Diego Gas & Electric have announced a plan to build a wind energy project capable of generating up to 160 megawatts of renewable power.

The three parties signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of a wind project on tribal land that could offset as much as 57.6 million pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions annually.

The project will be the tribe’s second wind generation facility.

“Development of this project will expand the Campo tribe’s leadership as the largest producer of clean, renewable wind energy on Indian lands in the United States,” said Monique La Chappa, Campo chairwoman.

During construction, the project will employ approximately 150 workers from various construction trades. Upon completion, 10-12 full time staff will be needed to operate and maintain the wind farm.

The project is being developed by Invenergy LLC, one of the top wind development companies in North America that currently operates 2,000 MW of wind power.

To meet the growing market for renewable energy projects in the East County, SDG&E also is planning a number of infrastructure enhancements projects that will help deliver renewable power into the grid while enhancing energy reliability for local residents and customers.

“This agreement is a significant step forward in our goal of achieving 33 percent of power deliveries from renewable resources by 2020,” said Debra L. Reed, president and chief executive officer of San Diego Gas & Electric.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has identified portions of eastern San Diego County, Imperial County and the northern Baja California region as some of the top locations in the country to generate electricity from renewable resources including the sun, wind and geothermal steam heat.

Over the next year, Muht-Hei Inc., the Campo development corporation, in conjunction with the Campo Band Executive Committee, Campo Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, will finalize the terms of the agreements with Invenergy and SDG&E.

Project developers will complete pre-development siting analyses, placement of testing towers to evaluate wind potential and fulfill environmental clearances prior to construction.

The project is expected to commence commercial operation in 2012.

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