Zoning/Planning and California
So after all back and forth over the last two years about whether the wind turbines should be built on Hatchet Mountain, we hear in the Inter Mountain News that the developers are not returning calls and the project may be "delayed" due to financing problems. ...The county should make them post at least a $10 million bond to insure that if a similar financial failure strikes, guaranteed funds will be available to remove these massive turbines and restore Hatchet Mountain to its former beauty.
Federal approval could come early this year, after a seven-year fight with opponents, including environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who might see the towers on the horizon five miles offshore from their vacation homes.
Will we have the same battles here, or will Marin accept the installation of renewable energy producing facilities "in our backyard"?
Enthusiastic support for the abstract concept of renewable energy sources now meets the reality of what's on the ground.
Now we're being asked to give a blank check to the DWP and City Hall to spend billions of dollars on the nation's largest solar energy initiative ever -- a proposal that has no planning, no financial analysis, no engineering study.
Approval of Measure B on the March 3 ballot would be a costly mistake. It will cost ratepayers dearly, set back hopes for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and provide the special interests and politicians with a license to steal.
The decision to build the Tranquillon Ridge Wind Farm by county planners was made much too quickly and with the near exclusion of input from Lompoc. Mark these concerns: ...
Forcing a quick decision on the Hatchet Ridge Wind turbine project divides the citizens of Burney.
Looking at the recent article in both CNN and the Record Searchlight about the polarizing effects the arrival of wind power has had on the small town of Lowville, N.Y., the situation there is similar to what is taking place in Burney over the Hatchet Ridge turbines. The 195 400-foot turbines in New York state have pitted "neighbor against neighbor and father against son." There are similar strong feelings in Burney.
The general public and public agencies have apparently missed an important story regarding Travis AFB that has occurred over the last year. In an extraordinary show of concern, base officials have issued four letters objecting to the continued addition of wind turbines to the Montezuma Hills wind resource area.
Air Force officials almost never make public statements about local land use issues, so these letters are highly unusual and show urgent concern.
However, these concerns have fallen on deaf ears with Solano County leadership. ...Simply put, the wind company went over the head of the local commander and went to higher levels to secure a deal. In return for $1 million to study how to mitigate the problem, and stating that 75 new turbines would not increase the damage that the 750 existing turbines have already done, higher HQ then directed Travis to withdraw objections.
‘Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! blow!" California may soon rant alongside King Lear as it presses to meet Assembly Bill 32's mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide. To achieve that mandate, the California Energy Commission established an energy action plan calling for the state to generate 20 percent of its electricity with renewable resources by 2010, and 33 percent by 2020.
But as the number of turbines grew into the hundreds and then the thousands, concern arose among residents, adjacent landowners and environmental groups.
Wind power can be a viable method of producing electricity, and it is widely considered a clean, safe and reliable source of energy. However, it does have adverse effects in locations such as the San Gorgonio Pass, including the loss of developable land and danger to local wildlife.
Wind-energy companies claim that they only use a fraction of the land, leaving the rest as open space. But in essence, modern wind-energy projects involve massive industrialization of undeveloped land. The newer turbines that have been installed in recent years are large, typically 100 meters (330 feet) tall. Indeed, some developers of future projects are proposing turbines that are 125 meters (410 feet) tall.
Local homeowners and adjacent landowners are the ones immediately affected, and they are now very active in opposing any new wind-energy projects. Other opposing parties are residential developers and the city of Desert Hot Springs. The latter sees a tangible loss of developable land south of Pierson Boulevard, an area the city is considering annexing for future growth.
In addition to the impact wind-energy projects have on land, the structures cause problems in the air as well. The tips of the turbine blades reach speeds of 200 mph to 300 mph, depending on wind speed, which can harm animals.
As a result of studies in other areas, such as Altamont Pass near San Francisco, we know that wind-energy systems cause deaths among many species, particularly raptors, owls and other migratory birds. A major concern for environmental groups, including The Sierra Club, is bird and bat mortality.