Despite a bankruptcy declaration filed by its financier, the Hatchet Ridge Wind Project will continue with plans to set 43 windmills in eastern Shasta County, representatives of the business said.
Nevertheless, opponents of the turbine project, like Bob Nelson of Save Burney's Skyline, said they found hope in the news of Australian-based Babcock & Brown's financial troubles.
The endangered desert tortoise and Mojave ground squirrel are frequent headliners in the local environmental debate whenever developers seek a piece of the High Desert.
Now scientists are saying another population that's not quite so lovable also needs an advocate.
Residents in the East County are sounding an environmental alert about future wind farms in their community. The battle is heating up over plans to build hundreds of wind turbines near Boulevard. ..."And we're talking over 500 to 600 turbines for now, over 400-feet tall silhouetted on that ridge line," she said.
That ridgeline to the south is in Mexico, where Sempra Energy - the parent company of SDG&E - Is planning on building a massive wind farm. So big, in fact, it will be visible from San Diego County.
Ocotillo's project also changed the hydrology of the desert to cause erosion and flooding. "Construction was an absolute nightmare," he added, citing dust storms, noise and floodlights all night long shining in his windows. When he complained, lights were directed at him even from places where no work was occurring, an action he suspects was malicious.
Gary Hatfield feels like Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha." However, the avid chukar hunter from Mountain Home Village is battling to stop the building of actual windmills on some of the best chukar and quail hunting habitat in the West Mojave Desert.
This week the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the county of San Bernardino have agreed to extend the comment period for the Granite Mountain Wind Energy Project to May 5.
Olds was afraid that by installing the electricity-generating equipment as a demonstration project at the Marina, the city would be promoting wind turbines, which would send the wrong message to the public.
So Olds added a stipulation to which the council agreed: before accepting the Southwest Wind Power turbine, the Golden Gate Audubon Society would have to give its O.K. to the project. It did so on Wednesday, with a caveat—GGAS asked the city to monitor the turbine and to remove it if it killed birds.
The massive 1,500 megawatt wind power deal announced Thursday by utility Southern California Edison (EIX) and a subsidiary of Australian company Allco Finance will crank up California’s wind energy capacity by 65 percent. That will go a long way in helping the state meet a mandatory target of generating 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010. But renewable energy projects like the huge wind farms to be built in SoCal’s Tehachapi region face a big hurdle: insufficient or non-existent transmission lines to connect the windy and sunny parts of California to the power grid. Yesterday, as the Tehachapi project was being announced, the California Energy Commission released a report warning that, “the lack of transmission infrastructure to access remote renewable resources is the most critical barrier to meeting California’s 20 percent target by 2010.”
The developer of the US' biggest wind farm in terms of megawatts, which is due to get even bigger, said Friday it will not pursue expansion into 2013 if the production tax credit is not extended by Congress.
Wind developer Oak Creek Energy of Oakland last month pulled the plug on a five-year effort to build a wind farm in the Castle Mountain area that Feinstein wants to add to the Mojave Preserve.
"The primary reason was that we found this area was heavily desired by powerful interests," executive vice president Edward Duggan said in an e-mail.
A bill to be introduced by Assemblyman Curt Hagman will fight Southern California Edison's plan to erect large electrical towers near homes in the city.
The 200-foot high voltage towers that Edison aims to construct in Chino Hills are part of its 173-mile green energy project that will travel from wind farms in Kern County to the Los Angeles Basin.
Residents and city officials fear the potential for harm.
Alameda County supervisors approved on Tuesday a new three-month, bird-monitoring contract to study the impacts of the Altamont Pass wind turbines on scores of birds, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, burrowing owls and other protected species.
Supervisors approved the $450,000 contract with environmental consulting firm Jones & Stokes by a 3-2 vote.
Alameda County supervisors were unimpressed with a proposed monitoring system that would study the impacts of the Altamont Pass windmills on scores of birds, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, burrowing owls and other protected species.
Saying costs for the program appeared to be increasing and that it probably would not sufficiently monitor bird deaths, supervisors directed county staff to find a more thorough system — and stay under the board’s imposed $2 million cost cap.
Soledad wants to build a seven-turbine wind farm to power its wastewater treatment plant. Sounds simple enough only the few remaining California condors frequently fly over the city and the Department of Fish and Game doesn't want to take the chance for one endangered bird to be pureed.
"Even though it's a relatively low risk," says David Hacker, staff environmental scientist for DFG, "it's still a risk and any risk can be significant for this species."
Instead of approving a proposed three-year research program that would track bird deaths and injuries, supervisors Tuesday unanimously agreed to let a newly appointed five-member scientific review committee decide on the parameters of such a program. The supervisors also agreed to cap spending on the program -- which will be funded by Altamont turbine operators -- at $2 million.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the Bureau of Land Management accepted as complete a Plan of Development for Invenergy's proposed 51-megawatt Horse Lake Wind Farm project on Fredonyer Peak near Eagle Lake.
Jeff Fontana, a public information officer for BLM, said the agency's acceptance of the development plan starts "the internal process" necessary for the agency to move the project forward.
San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s plan to build a transmission line through the backcountry has received approval from the federal Bureau of Land Management. ...Environmentalists have been vehemently against the project from the beginning. Opponents argue SDG&E could use the transmission line to import electricity generated by natural gas plants in Mexico, where environmental regulations are less stringent.
In March 2007, April Sall, the conservationist overseeing the Pipes Canyon Preserve in the San Bernardino County desert, got a call from an employee at the federal Bureau of Land Management.
The caller wondered if Sall knew of a plan to run 85 miles of electrical transmission lines through the Morongo Basin, on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, and through parts of the 20,000-acre private preserve northeast of Yucca Valley.
PALM SPRINGS - Out here in the desert two hours east of Los Angeles, the weather is so blustery that NASA once declared the San Gorgonio Pass "one of the windiest spots in North America." No wonder it's also the birthplace of many of the world's first power-producing windmills.
Today, 3,000 of the so-called wind turbines have sprouted up from the desert floor and lined many of the mountain ridges along the freeway that ushers the rich and the famous into the legendary California oasis, Palm Springs. The sprawling wind farm generates enough electricity to light up a city the size of San Francisco.
But there's trouble on the horizon. A plan to erect even more windmills is meeting with vocal opposition here.