Imperial County is one of the most renewable-energy rich locations in the United States and the world, with the potential to produce over 40,000 megawatts of renewable energy. Consider that:
- Imperial County is the second largest geothermal energy producing county in the nation.
- It is ideally suited for solar energy production, with over 350days of sunshine annually.
- Abundant agricultural resources, combined with a year-round growing season, make it a prime location for biofuel production.
- The Imperial Irrigation District currently operates several hydroelectric plants in the eastern portion of the County.
- The western portion of the County possesses great potential for the development of wind turbines.
Recent events have positioned Imperial County for a surge in renewable energy with its associated economic, social, and educational development. State law now requires California public utilities to provide a third of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020. Renewable energy technologies are rapidly evolving and are now being brought to the Valley on a commercial scale. The construction of the Sunrise Powerlink will deliver 1,000 megawatts of energy from Imperial County to markets in San Diego County. These circumstances are propitious for SDSU, the Imperial Valley's only university. The establishment of the Sustainable Energy Center (SEC) on SDSU's satellite campus, Brawley, is intended to seize this opportunity.