In October 2008, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its final Record of Decision on the Resource Management Plan (RMP) for public lands in eastern San Diego County. The Tule Wind Project is proposed for BLM land identified in the plan as appropriate for renewable energy, as well as on land owned by the California State Lands Commission and the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians.
Avangrid Renewables is known as a leader in the wind industry for its proactive approach to environmental analysis and protection. Moving forward with the Tule Wind Project, Avangrid Renewables is committed to creating a project that is sensitive to the surrounding natural environment.
The project has undergone intensive environmental studies, including an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In these studies, specific impacts from the project and mitigation measures were identified. In addition, feedback from the community played an important role in identifying specific issues for the environmental team to study. The Department of the Interior issued approval of the project in December 2011. In April 2012, the California Public Utilities Commission certified the EIR.
Avangrid Renewables has worked closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish & Game to develop a project-level ABPP for the Tule Wind Power Project, which will seek to greatly minimize the risk to local bird and bat populations based on the site’s specific use patterns. We are proud to announce that the agencies recently approved the plan. Five years of studies have proven that this project has very low risk to protected and endangered species – and our studies are supported by testimony from the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians, who have called this land home for thousands of years.
In mid-2012, San Diego County will vote on whether to issue a major use permit to the Tule Wind Power Project, which will determine a precedent for the county’s acceptance of utility-scale renewable energy.