The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission denied a Lompoc resident's attempt to waylay an alternative energy project Wednesday, but approved the first step for a senior housing development in Old Town Orcutt.
The commission unanimously denied an appeal that took issue with temporary meteorological towers that are part of a renewable wind-energy project southwest of Lompoc.
The plan to build a 600 miles high-voltage power line across Northern California is officially dead, the agency behind the project concluded early Wednesday.
The $1.5 billion project had been proposed to move electricity from future wind, solar and geothermal projects in Lassen County to power customers in urban areas.
A number of meteorological towers, designed to collect wind and weather conditions, dot Lassen County and Northeastern California, but the United States Bureau of Land Management has not yet moved any proposed wind turbine projects forward.
Jeff Fontana, a public information officer for the BLM, said a plan of development from Invenergy was returned to the developer after the federal agency requested modifications.
Sharon Reid and her husband, Dewitt, a retired Marine major, pay $170 in a typical month ---- and some months more than $230 ---- to cool and light their 2,000-square-foot, tri-level home in Vista.
Without making any changes in lifestyle, their electricity bill is likely to increase by $45 a month on average as California overhauls its power grid and tries to shift the source of one-third of its electricity from fossil fuels to green sources by 2020.
The City Council is trying to craft rules for electricity-generating wind energy systems that won't divide the city's residents into warring camps of "wind energy advocates" and NIMNBYs: "Not in my neighbor's back yard."
So far, it's been tough to find a happy medium.
The biggest backer of a proposed high-voltage power line through Northern California may have abandoned the project, putting its future in doubt, but the fight hasn't left power line opponents, who marched and rallied Wednesday in Redding.
Nearly 200 green-shirted "Stop TANC" activists filled a Holiday Inn ballroom, where they heard reports from power line opponents who had traveled from as far as Davis.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District announced last week that it would no longer support a widely vilified, $1.5 billion proposal to build a 600-mile stretch of high-voltage transmission lines through the state. ...The public works project in question -- one of the West's largest in recent history -- would extend from yet-to-be-developed wind and solar farms in the northeastern part of the state.
Burbank Water and Power officials are urging the City Council to oppose legislation that would force them to produce a third of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, arguing the requirements would drive up utility rates and strain existing electric transmission assets that the state is in short supply of.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District's withdrawal this week from a major Northern California power-transmission project complicates its transition to renewable energy.
SMUD planners foresaw using the new high-voltage lines to carry power to Sacramento from new wind, solar and geothermal energy projects envisioned for Lassen County and northwestern Nevada. SMUD cited financial uncertainties for the pullout.
North state opposition to a proposed high-voltage power line stretching from Lassen County to the San Francisco Bay area is still fully charged.
The day after the biggest municipal utility among those planning the 600-mile Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC) line pulled out of the project, those opposing it said their fight is long from over. ..."We deserve our meeting," Caldwell said. "TANC should not cancel our meeting because one entity pulled out."
One of the largest public works projects in the West - 600 miles of high-voltage power lines through Northern California - is on life support after its biggest player abruptly pulled the plug.
A magnet for opposition from both owners of properties the transmission lines would cross and environmental activists, the project was promoted as vital to the region's clean-energy future.
Prompted by outcry over a proposal to place a power transmission project through Solano and neighboring counties, Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Solano, has introduced legislation to close a loophole exempting local, publicly owned utilities from state oversight. ...Existing law requires that any person proposing to construct an electric transmission line must first obtain a certification from the Commission. However, local publicly owned electric utilities do not currently fall under this law, and thus lack oversight.
California officials are beginning to worry that the state's focus on transitioning to renewable-energy sources could lead to power shortages in the near term.
The state has been so keen to develop renewables that relatively few conventional power generators, such as gas-fired plants, have been built lately. That risks a possible energy shortfall in certain places if the economy rebounds any time soon.
A controversial power transmission line project faces a major setback. ...Thursday night, Action News learned that a major participant in the project has pulled out. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has withdrawn from the $1.5 billion dollar project. SMUD was expected to fund a large share of the project.
Six hundred miles of high-voltage power lines would mar farms and country homes simply because that's cheaper than a less disruptive option, a Stanislaus County leader charged Tuesday.
A claim of pursuing renewable energy options "is just a front to sell power up and down California," Supervisor Bill O'Brien told energy officials, prompting vigorous applause from landowners upset at the proposal at a county Board of Supervisors meeting.
The Transmission Agency of Northern California's proposal to build more than 600 miles of high-voltage transmission lines has residents fearing the worst: reduced property values, high power rates, interference with agriculture operations and negative impacts to the environment and public safety.
"These are all things that cannot be mitigated away," Shasta County resident Steve Kerns said at a community meeting in Maxwell on Wednesday.
The Temecula City Council wants to take a closer look at a wind energy ordinance and another proposed ordinance that would offer protection for the city's heritage trees.
During Tuesday's meeting, the council postponed a hearing on the heritage tree ordinance until its next meeting in mid-July and voted 3-0 to create a subcommittee to look more closely at the proposed regulations on the harnessing of wind energy.
San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to streamline the process for meteorological equipment testing for wind energy turbines while directing county staff to return to the board with an analysis on developing a two-tiered ordinance, which separated domestic and commercial systems. On May 12 the supervisors established $350,000 of funding to prepare an Environmental Impact Report.
California's push for renewable power could prove costly to consumers.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to get one-third of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2020 could cost $115 billion in new infrastructure, according to a report released Friday by the California Public Utilities Commission. Last year, a similar report from the commission estimated the cost at $60 billion.
Residents who hoped that the Baylands would be suited for generating electricity from wind power received bad news this week.
An energy consultant found the 600-acre site not windy enough to install a turbine, an energy generator that converts wind energy into electrical energy.
The city's Open Space and Ecology Committee received a preliminary report this week after a year of collecting data from a temporary 197-foot-tall metal tower.