Quick Facts

This small, 4-turbine project will produce enough electricity for more than 4,000 average homes.


At just 1200 feet from the White House, the same distance of wind turbines from many US residences today, the Mall Wind Park will send a positive "YIMBY" (Yes, in my back yard) message.

This project will use the latest in affordable wind power technology: Goldwind brand turbines with bases, nacelles, and cones manufactured in China, with blades proudly made in the USA, demonstrating our nation's commitment to aiding the economic development, both at home and in struggling nations such as China.

Download the Google Earth Overlay to view the turbines from any angle.

Entries by The Mall Wind Park (2)


“What was public land is going to be private land given to a large investment company"


Wind farm thrusts remote desert town into future

By Morgan Lee

Monday, June 11, 2012

OCOTILLO, Calif. — The nation’s quest for more green energy is set on a collision course in this town on the edge of the windswept Imperial Valley desert.

Construction has started on an array of 112 wind turbines that will arise on three sides of Ocotillo by mid-2013.

With blades swirling more than 400 feet into the sky, the wind farm will supply utility customers in San Diego and southern Orange counties with enough electricity to power as many as 125,000 coastal homes.

The project is part of a broad slate of large-scale solar and wind installations that will tie into a major new electrical transmission line — the Sunrise Powerlink — leading east from San Diego for 117 miles.

The Sunrise line, scheduled for completion this month after 1½ years under construction, places a new premium on the Imperial Valley’s unrelenting sunshine and one of California’s few untapped wind corridors.

But in Ocotillo, plans for wind turbines — with their low-frequency hum and nighttime flashing aircraft beacons — have forged stark divisions among desert dwellers accustomed to isolation, fathomless vistas and dark starry nights.

Front-yard banners in Ocotillo, about 70 miles from San Diego, heap shame on the Bureau of Land Management for granting a 30-year right-of-way that will place windmills within half a mile of some homes.

“Everything I moved out here for they want to take away,” said Jim Pelley, whose front porch will have an unobstructed view of the construction.

Indian tribes who trace their ancestry to the area have scoured the scrublands in recent weeks for unmarked cremation and archaeological sites, with one tribe challenging the power plant in court.

Others in the area see a rare opportunity to attract construction jobs, and to play a small role in the nation’s quest for energy independence.

Caryn George, 52, who was laid off at a nearby gravel mine amid a weak construction economy, said the project’s advantages over fossil fuels and the potential for a local economic boost outweigh the negative impacts on the nearby desert.

“Sometimes you have to think for the greater good. I know that sounds totally cheese-ball,” George said. “They’re coming. ... Let’s do the best we can.”


Where it descends the eastern slope of San Diego County into the Imperial Valley, the serpentine Sunrise Powerlink could eventually give rise to a half-dozen industrial-scale wind projects, backed by large U.S. and international energy concerns.

Pattern Energy, a privately held developer of wind projects stretching from Canada to Chile, leads the pack.

At Ocotillo, it already has begun carving roads into the desert soil — within view of the shimmering lattice of new transmission towers.

Other wind prospectors include Iberdrola, the second-largest developer of wind projects in the U.S. and the world's leading provider of wind power.

The Sunrise line also promises to free up grid capacity for wind turbines on the high plains of Baja California.

The coupled expansion of wind power and transmission lines are an emerging trend in the U.S. wholesale power industry, says Jon Wellinghoff,, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which ensures the dependability of the nation’s bulk-electricity system.

“Most of the most economically viable energy — certainly for wind — is in remote locations that need transmission to deliver it,” Wellinghoff said.

He — along with Cabinet secretaries at the departments of Energy, Agriculture and Interior — are seeking ways to speed permitting for power lines leading to renewable energy.

That’s just one facet of government support behind the exponential growth of the U.S. wind industry over the past decade.

At Ocotillo, plans for big wind are perched atop layers of incentives for green energy: the use of public lands, federal tax credits, state clean-energy mandates and possibly a development bank loan backed by the U.S. and Mexican governments.

It is unclear how much utility customers will pay and tax collectors forgo in return for the dose of green energy at Ocotillo — or from other projects harnessed by the Sunrise Powerlink.

Power purchase agreement like the 20-year deal between SDG&E and Ocotillo Express, a Delaware corporation set up by Pattern, are not made public until years after their approval by regulators.

Opponents of the project doubt the skies over Ocotillo have enough sustained breezes to fulfill promises.

“It’s a federally funded wind project in an area without the required wind,” said Bill Pate, a San Diego attorney whose parents retired to Ocotillo. “It’s the classic bridge to nowhere.”

Pattern said the wind speeds at Ocotillo were documented during three years of studies, confirmed by independent consultants.

The project, said Pattern CEO Mike Garland in an email, “was selected by the BLM to help California reach its clean energy goals and contribute to the nation’s energy security.”


Ocotillo’s population of 265 is dominated by residents beyond their child-rearing years, many on fixed incomes.

A few have come here to allay respiratory problems. Most say the main attractions were the distant horizons and muted desert ecology.

Any turn-off from the town’s tidy grid of paved streets leads to desert solitude.

“It’s quiet — very quiet. If you like quiet,” explains Rose Nolta, who raised three children here and now runs the Lazy Lizard Saloon.

It’s a town that has been thrust abruptly into America’s energy-production future.

In May, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed a right-of-way grant, bringing to a close three years of impact studies for a power plant that will stretch across about 10,000 acres, forming a crescent around the town.

Local conservationists and an Arizona-based tribe that traces its ancestry to the area have turned to state and federal courts to stop the project from going forward, seeking injunctive relief through three separate lawsuits.

They contend that protected species — Peninsular big horn sheep, among them — Ocotillo residents, and archaeological resources received short shrift in the studies approved by federal, California and Imperial County officials.

Working with the Bureau of Land Management, Pattern devised wildlife and environmental safeguards. The company, a business partner with Indian tribes on other wind projects, will have teams of independent archaeologists and tribal monitors on-site during construction.

East of Ocotillo, in San Diego County, planners and politicians are rewriting rules that may determine where the next big wind farms can and cannot go.

Clean-energy experts say fears about the proliferation of wind turbines are unfounded: Only a handful of remote locations are worth developers’ time.

“The political decision is whether you inconvenience 100 or 150 people in order to provide clean, renewable power for decades to 50,000 or 60,000 homes,” explained Jim Waring, president of CleanTECH San Diego. “I’m not minimizing the concerns of the people who live there. ... It has to be somewhere.”

At Ocotillo, the fight is over for some.

“What was public land is going to be private land given to a large investment company,” said Tim Lamb, an on-and-off resident for 20 years at Nomirage, a cluster of fenced lots and trailer homes at the edge of Ocotillo.

“We did all we could,” he said “There were forces, forces in the government, that were way to powerful for us to overcome.”


News about similar size wind project

Wind Project In Northwestern Vt. Gets New Investor

 VPR News

Friday, 05/11/12 7:34am

LISTEN (3:28)
MP3 | Download MP3 - Vermont Public Radio

John Dillon

Construction has started on a 10-megawatt wind energy development in northwestern Vermont.

The Georgia Mountain project will feature four wind towers over 400 feet high.

The development was launched by a local family. But recently it attracted a major new investor. Vermont renewable energy entrepreneur David Blittersdorf is now a member-owner of Georgia Mountain Community Wind LLC.

Some neighbors opposed to the wind development say the owners or state regulators should have told them that construction was about to start.

R.J. Potter of Milton lives near Georgia Mountain. He says neighbors were shocked last week by the clearcutting and construction activity.

"We didn't know that there was new ownership," he says. "The Public Service Board didn't notify us about anything whatsoever. Usually up to this point they've been pretty good about it. But nothing. And you've got a whole bunch of upset neighbors. This Blittersdorf, could he send us a postcard or something?"

Blittersdorf is CEO of All Earth Renewables, which sells wind and solar systems. He's also a founder of NRG Systems, a leading producer of wind measuring equipment.

Blittersdorf was out of town and unavailable for an interview. Martha Staskus is overseeing the project. She says the energy entrepreneur became interested in the Georgia wind development after it won approval from the Public Service Board.

"And we started to look at purchasing turbines and lining up and preparing for construction, David Blittersdorf became interested in being a participating member of the Georgia Mountain LLC," she says.

Staskus says the company wasn't required to send out a notice to neighbors that construction was about to begin. Although the project won PSB approval in 2010, she says the final transportation permits were obtained just recently.

"We've tried to stay in communication with the neighbors as well as we can," she says. "So the conditions of the permits were met.... The board has made no indication of a violation and therefore the project needs to move forward."

Melodie McLane of Fairfax lives with her family about 3,000 feet away from the wind project. She says the company and the Public Service Board should have done a better job communicating with neighbors.

"We had not heard from the board that they had full approval to start construction. So of course we were quite upset," McLane says. "And right up until that point on everything, every piece of correspondence, every condition that had to be met, we were copied and notified.

McLane says there are about 100 homes within a mile of the project. She says there's simply too big an impact on the mountain and the neighborhood. But Staskus of Georgia Wind says the turbines will deliver local energy and local jobs.

"That's sort of the real exciting part about of this project. It's locally owned; the power is going locally to Burlington Electric," Staskus says. "And it's locally financed and it's creating local Vermont jobs in the renewable energy sector." 

Staskus says the project needs to be up and operating by the end of the year in order to qualify for federal grants.