About 90 miles northeast of San Diego in the desert community of Borrego Springs, a new energy education program is taking root just as spring blooms are beginning to dot the landscape.
Today, the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association (ABDNHA), one of our long-time partners in environmental education, celebrated the completion of its new energy education project. We joined about 30 residents and community leaders to mark the occasion.
The Borrego Desert Energy Education Project is designed to stimulate discussion on energy generation, use and conservation, as well as the relationships between energy, climate, and the natural world. The initiative is the result of collaboration between ABDNHA, SDG&E and the California Energy Commission.
Education Program Designed to Appeal to Both Adults and Children
The energy education program is multi-faceted and includes the following:
- Interpretative displays and signage under ABDHNA’s Solar Ramada at the entrance to its Botanical Garden
- A self-guided tour of sustainable projects in Borrego Valley
- Ongoing education programs/outreach for adults and school children
- An energy careers program for local high school students
Highlight of Education Program: Borrego Springs Microgrid
Besides learning about the fundamentals of how energy is created, those who stop by ABDNHA to check out the energy education project will discover what a microgrid is.
Located on the outskirts of town, the Borrego Springs Microgrid is frequently held up as a poster child of cutting-edge energy innovation. When the main grid experiences disruptions due to extreme weather or other emergencies, the microgrid can operate independently and power critical facilities in the community.
SDG&E has been continuously making improvements to the microgrid. The next phase of improvements will enable remote control of the microgrid so in the event of an emergency, the microgrid can be more quickly activated to reduce the duration of power outages.
The Borrego energy education initiative builds on a long history of partnership between ABDNHA and SDG&E. We have been partners in environmental education since 2007.
ABDNHA is one of our Environmental Champions. It runs Desert Exploration, an after-school science program for 4th-5th graders at Borrego Springs Elementary School. The program teaches students about their unique desert environment, and the critical issues of energy, water, and climate change.
Next time you are in Borrego Springs, stop by ABDNHA, which is located in the heart of town near Christmas Circle.