We believe it is our responsibility to build and operate projects in ways that respect the environment. By collaborating with local community leaders and environmental experts, we ensure that the work we do preserves natural habitats and species for future generations.
Electricity generation can require an abundance of water, especially for facilities located in arid desert regions. That's one reason why we use solar panel technology that doesn't use water to generate electricity. And why our natural gas-fueled power plants employ water-saving technologies.
We reduce the impact on sensitive habitats by strategically choosing the right locations for development. Our solar projects are built on previously disturbed land or in designated energy zones. And all are sited near existing major transmission lines.
We also created the Mesquite Power Wildlife Oasis from restored farmland near our jointly-owned power plant in Arlington, Arizona. In partnership with Wildlife for Tomorrow, we sponsor field trips for more than one thousand school children each year, so they can enjoy guided tours of the Oasis and explore the 40 acres of interactive trails and wildlife.
At the Auwahi Forest in Maui, Hawaii, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power provides support for the historic dryland forest restoration effort on the leeward flanks of Haleakal volcano. The Maui Restoration Group currently plants seedlings and controls invasive weeds to reinvigorate this unique native forest.
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power also seeks to protect wildlife commonly affected by wind turbines, a major issue facing the wind industry. For example, larger turbines were selected for the company's Auwahi Wind farm in Maui, Hawaii, reducing risk to sensitive wildlife species – including the Hawaiian hoary bat and petrel – by including fewer turbines. Additionally, as required by the Habitat Conservation Plan, biological monitors were deployed during construction to minimize impacts to federal and state-listed species.