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Wind turbines proposed in Lake County

Calgary-based AltaGas is proposing up to 42 264-feet-tall wind generating turbines on an 8,000 acre right of way on the Bureau of Land Management's Walker Ridge. They could produce about 70 megawatts of electricity, enough to power up to 25,000 homes, according to the company.

Canadian energy firm wants to build 42 generators on BLM land in remote Walker Ridge

Dozens of wind turbines on towering stalks would populate a rugged and remote ridge straddling Lake and Colusa counties if a Canadian company has its way.

Calgary-based AltaGas is proposing up to 42 264-feet-tall wind generating turbines on an 8,000 acre right of way on the Bureau of Land Management's Walker Ridge. They could produce about 70 megawatts of electricity, enough to power up to 25,000 homes, according to the company.

AltaGas officials are hoping to have the wind farm operating in late 2012, but the approval process is just beginning. It will include environmental studies and review and public input. Potential negative impacts include bird deaths from collisions with the turbines, noise and visual disturbances.

The company will present its project to the Lake County Supervisors Tuesday.

Walker Ridge Wind Park would be the county's first commercial wind project, but most of the Geysers geothermal fields are in Lake County, and a large solar energy facility produces energy at the county's wastewater plant.

"We're a big energy producer," said Lake County Administrator Kelly... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Canadian energy firm wants to build 42 generators on BLM land in remote Walker Ridge

Dozens of wind turbines on towering stalks would populate a rugged and remote ridge straddling Lake and Colusa counties if a Canadian company has its way.

Calgary-based AltaGas is proposing up to 42 264-feet-tall wind generating turbines on an 8,000 acre right of way on the Bureau of Land Management's Walker Ridge. They could produce about 70 megawatts of electricity, enough to power up to 25,000 homes, according to the company.

AltaGas officials are hoping to have the wind farm operating in late 2012, but the approval process is just beginning. It will include environmental studies and review and public input. Potential negative impacts include bird deaths from collisions with the turbines, noise and visual disturbances.

The company will present its project to the Lake County Supervisors Tuesday.

Walker Ridge Wind Park would be the county's first commercial wind project, but most of the Geysers geothermal fields are in Lake County, and a large solar energy facility produces energy at the county's wastewater plant.

"We're a big energy producer," said Lake County Administrator Kelly Cox.

Another project submitted for south Cow Mountain does not appear to be progressing, BLM officials said.

The Walker Ridge project and about 75 more wind farms are being planned on public lands throughout the state as energy companies rush to meet California's green energy goals. Those that succeed will take advantage of state and federal government tax breaks and financial incentives.

"There's a big push to break ground by the end of the year" on all types of alternative energy projects, said BLM spokesman David Christy.

Wind farm projects are underway in Humboldt and Shasta counties, but most of the existing and proposed projects are based in southern California, where hard blowing winds are more readily found, Christy said.

One of the largest is in the Tehachapi Mountain range.

The state's goal is to have 20 percent of all its energy come from renewable energy - including wind and solar - by the end of 2010 and 33 percent by 2020. The 20 percent deadline is expected to be moved to 2013.

Similar demands and financial incentives have fanned wind generation projects nationwide, said Shawna Seldon, a spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association in Washington D.C.

A federal tax credit, offered upfront as a grant, can provide up to 2 cents per kilowatt hour for 10 years, said Nancy Rader, executive director of the California Wind Energy Association.

Advances in technology also have made the business more lucrative and attractive.

Wind energy has exploded across the country since 1981, when the first commercial energy generating windmills were placed on Altamont Pass. In 2009, 33,000 turbines were operating in the United States, according to Seldon.

California wind projects currently produce about 2,700 megawatts, Rader said.


Source: http://www.pressdemocrat.co...

JUL 8 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27128-wind-turbines-proposed-in-lake-county
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