The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support more renewable energy sources, including wave energy, offshore wind farms, and geothermal energy. As a portion of the regional de-carbonization framework, board Supervisor Joel Anderson and Chair Nathan Fletcher propose that county staff investigate alternative renewable energy sources.
Staffers will collaborate with local universities, research institutes, and other local, federal, and state authorities to find the greatest renewable energy sources. Before the board voted, Anderson said, “We all decided to move toward green energy.” “We should be open-minded in our approach and put it all on the table.”
The action, according to Fletcher, is in line with an earlier Biden administration plan to expand an offshore wind energy plan, and “will assist us in attaining our regional decarbonization targets while also boosting local green economy prospects. I am grateful that environmental justice is a top priority for this Board of Supervisors.” Renewable energy technology is “developing quickly,” Anderson said, adding that “the power of Pacific Ocean might be leveraged to accomplish our goal of de-carbonizing the region.”
During a brief public hearing, environmental and labor activists expressed their support for the idea.
Along with the green energy benefits, Matthew Vasilakis, who works as the policy co-director of the Climate Action Campaign, said it was critical for the county to include feedback from outlying areas.
Gretchen Newsom, who is the political director in charge of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569, pointed out that a big geothermal project named Hell’s Kitchen is currently underway in the Salton Sea in Southern California.
San Diego Gas & Electric spokesperson Dallin Young said his firm was happy to partner with the county on the effort. SDG&E is also exploring renewable hydrogen-based energy ventures in north and east San Diego County, according to him.
When it comes to energy, the County is committed to utilizing renewable sources whenever possible. Since 2003, the County has used solar energy at its facilities, with more than 22 photovoltaic (PV) systems installed throughout the county. The systems range in size from 2 kW at the County’s Waterfront Park concession stand to 1,000 kW at the East Mesa Detention Facility. The County presently generates nearly 2,900,000 kilowatts per year, which accounts for 2.6 percent of the County’s annual energy consumption. By the end of 2019, the County will have added a net of 13 megawatts at eight different locations.