The Top 10 San Diego Cleantech Milestones of 2012


[Corrected 1/24/13, 12:05 pm. See below.] San Diego’s clean technology had a banner year in 2012. Numerous companies in the region—from startups to multinational giants—made significant strides in advancing San Diego’s leadership in renewable energy and green innovation. At CleanTECH San Diego, the regional non-profit industry group, we’ve picked the year’s 10 biggest milestones from a long list of local achievements.

1) [Corrected to show grant was $3.5 million.] The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $3.5 million grant in November to San Diego’s Power Analytics, OSIsoft, and Viridity Energy to install smart grid technology systems at three military bases in the San Diego area. The project was one of five selected (from more than 750 applications nationwide) by the DoD’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program—a testament to the “gold standard” these companies have established as technology innovators and partners in developing UC San Diego’s renowned campus microgrid.

2) In August, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of Iberdrola’s Tule Wind Power Project, a wind farm proposed on federal, county, state, and Kumeyaay tribal land in the windy McCain Valley, 67 miles East of San Diego. The project is expected to generate enough clean energy to power 60,000 local homes and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 250,000 metric tons per year. It also will create new construction jobs, tax revenues, and lease payments to local landowners. The most significant aspect, however, may be that the board—which is not known for supporting renewable energy projects—voted to welcome a utility-scale wind energy development in Eastern San Diego County.

3) San Diego launched the nation’s first all-electric EV car-sharing service in early 2012 through car2go, a Daimler subsidiary. Over 12,500 people signed up, resulting in more than 200,000 trips in the smartfortwo electric vehicles. The California Energy Commission also awarded … Next Page »

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Jim Waring is a co-founder and executive chairman of CleanTECH San Diego, a non-profit industry association established to stimulate renewable energy technologies, cleantech, and sustainable industry practices in the greater San Diego region. Follow @

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