San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm Article

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San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm
San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm IMG 0504.JPG
CountryUnited States
Location Riverside County, California
Coordinates 33°54′N 116°35′W / 33.900°N 116.583°W / 33.900; -116.583
SAN GORGONIO PASS WIND FARM Latitude and Longitude:

33°54′N 116°35′W / 33.900°N 116.583°W / 33.900; -116.583
Construction began1980s
Wind farm
Hub height160 ft (49 m) (max)
Power generation
Units operational3,218
Nameplate capacity615 MW

The San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm is a wind farm located on the eastern slope of the San Gorgonio Pass in Riverside County, just east of White Water, California, United States. Developed beginning in the 1980s, it is one of three major wind farms in California, along with those at Altamont and the Tehachapi passes. The gateway into the Coachella Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass is one of the windiest places in southern California.


As of January 2008, the farm consists of 3,218 units delivering 615 MW. [1] A single Southern California Edison Path 46 500 kilo- volt power line crosses the pass on the northern edge of San Jacinto Peak. This line links the Los Angeles metro area with the Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant.

The majority of the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm viewed from atop the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in the San Jacinto Mountains to the south. The farm continues over the hills to the north along California State Route 62. Interstate 10 traverses the image horizontally, and a small portion of State Route 111 is also visible at the bottom of the photo.

History and governance

Wind energy development in the San Gorgonio Pass area was formally studied through the San Gorgonio Wind Resource Study EIR (1982), a joint environmental document prepared for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Riverside County. The document assessed three scenarios for wind energy development in the area and included criteria for the development of wind energy on both a countywide basis and specifically for the San Gorgonio Pass area. [2] Since 1982, and the approval of wind energy development in the San Gorgonio Pass, numerous wind turbines have become part of the landscape. The narrow turbines range from 80 to 160 feet in height. [3]

Involvement with ExxonMobil

In August 1997, ExxonMobil and Southern California Edison jointly constructed a combination oil refinery and storage facility. The plant continues to operate as a refinery while at the same time storing a healthy oil reserve. The refinery and storage facility works in tandem with the wind farm to utilize the energy created in the necessary processes in the refinery process. [4]

360° panorama from the site of the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm

Further information

  • In 1998 Huell Howser Productions, in association with KCET/Los Angeles, featured the windfarms in California's Gold; the 30 minute program is available on VHS. [5] A second Howser/California's Gold program on the wind farms was produced in 2010. [6]

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Wind Energy Projects - California Archived 2010-08-07 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ San Gorgonio Pass Wind Energy Policy Area
  3. ^ U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT DOI-BLM-CA-060-0007-0057-EA Archived 2012-09-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ ExxonMobil
  5. ^ California's Gold / #909: Big Things in the Desert. OCLC  45819663, 78285388, 719655627
  6. ^ California's Green / Wind Power. Edited by Michael Garber. DVD. 30 minutes. OCLC  747281801