My friend Richard Bailey, grandson of Julian's founder Drury Bailey, brought my attention to a construction project west of Calexico which sounded amazing. With my photographer Pam Wilmers, we struck out on Wednesday, April 3, to fly over the area and see what we could discover.
We found almost 2,000 acres of fallow, unused farm land being converted into a solar array to turn sunlight into electricity.
Mt. Signal stacked fields
Pam took these photos from altitudes of 500 feet above the ground to 8,000 feet above the ground. They show how out-of-the-way, unused land can be converted into energy potential and lots of jobs for Imperial County workers.
This information was taken from the website of one of the contracting corporations: "Mount Signal Solar is being built on 1,963 acres of low-productivity farmland. Upon completion in early 2014, the power plant will provide clean, renewable solar PV power to about 72,000 households under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). Mount Signal Solar is the first of three phases of an approximately 800 MW-dc (600MW-ac) planned solar PV power project — currently the largest in the world.
Mt. Signal canal fields
All 8minutenergy solar projects are located on disturbed, low-value farm land. 8minutenergy strives to ensure that its solar power projects provide low cost, clean renewable energy from the sun with low
environmental impacts, particularly when compared with public lands projects on pristine desert wildlands."
A big 'thank you' to the Air Traffic controllers at El Centro Naval Air Facility for allowing us to loiter in their airspace for 30 minutes to take the photos.