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San Diego County to pursue more renewable energy sources

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Posted at 1:46 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 16:46:12-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Wednesday unanimously voted to support more forms of renewable energy, including wave-based, offshore wind farms, and geothermal.

The proposal by board Chairman Nathan Fletcher and Supervisor Joel Anderson directs county staff to research various renewable energy sources as part of a regional de-carbonization framework.

Staffers will work with local universities, research institutions, and other local, federal, and state entities to research the best types of renewable energy.

"We all agreed to move toward green energy," Anderson said before the board voted. "We should put everything on the table, and not be narrow-minded in our approach."

Fletcher said Wednesday's action aligns with a recent Biden administration decision to expand a plan for offshore wind energy, and "will help move us close to achieving our regional de-carbonization goals, and also advancing local opportunities for the green economy. I am thankful this Board of Supervisors is prioritizing environmental justice."

Anderson added that renewable energy technology "is evolving rapidly, and the power of (the) Pacific Ocean could be used to meet our goal to de-carbonize the region."

The proposal won support from environmental and labor activists who called in during a brief public hearing.

Matthew Vasilakis, policy co-director with the Climate Action Campaign, said that along with the green energy benefits, it was important for the county to include input from unincorporated areas.

Gretchen Newsom, political director of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569, noted that there already is a major geothermal project happening in Southern California, called Hell's Kitchen, in the Salton Sea.

Dallin Young, a spokesman with San Diego Gas & Electric, said his company was proud to join the county on the initiative. He added that SDG&E is developing green hydrogen-based energy projects in east and north San Diego County.