Library from California

California invested heavily in solar power. Now there's so much that other states are sometimes paid to take it

But CAISO concedes that curtailments and “negative pricing” is likely to happen even more often in the future as solar power production continues to grow, unless action is taken to better manage the excess electricity. Arizona’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service, is one of the biggest beneficiaries of California’s largesse because it is next door and the power can easily be sent there on transmission lines. On days that Arizona is paid to take California’s excess solar power, Arizona Public Service says it has cut its own solar generation rather than fossil fuel power. So California’s excess solar isn’t reducing greenhouse gases when that happens.
22 Jun 2017

Can California really hit a 100% renewable energy target?

Robert Michaels, an economics professor at Cal State Fullerton, is not as confident and predicts SB100 will lead to higher bills for ratepayers. “It’s going to be expensive. “We already know there are a lot of problems with reliability, just with the percentage of intermittent renewables that you have here (in California). And until, and probably not even after, we get a lot more in the way of usable battery storage or some way of storing this stuff, it’s simply not going to be feasible.”
9 Jun 2017

California’s push for a 100 percent renewable energy future may hit roadblocks

The path to an all-renewable electrical grid would mean major technological advances and upgrades, experts say. Arne Olson, partner at the international energy consulting firm E3, said the state would have to diversify its renewable portfolio. Building solar farms can be expensive and take up lots of land, and federal restrictions have banned wind farms from prime desert sites.
24 May 2017

What's keeping tribes from harnessing their wind energy?

The Dakota Access Pipeline goes through some of the windiest parts of the Great Plains, and wind power generation in the Plains States has grown rapidly over the last decade. You might think that wind would offer a viable alternative to fossil fuel development for Plains tribes. But in the rush to develop wind power, the Native peoples of the Plains are being left behind.
2 May 2017

Mammalian mesocarnivore visitation at tortoise burrows in a wind farm

Mammalian-mesocarnivore-visitation-10.1002_40jwmg.21262_thumb For wind proponents who insist that wildlife can co-exist around operating wind turbines, this study explains how the behavior of animals resident within a wind project site changed their behavior and avoided the project area. In particular, the researchers identified the loss of habitat due to the access roads and noise/vibrations of the turbines. A portion of the document is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page. In addition, supplemental data from the study is also attached to this page.
12 Apr 2017

Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility: Wrong from the start

This project was a disaster from the beginning. Speed and greed are a recipe for environmental, economic, and social failures. Applications for future wind developments must learn from this experience and be much, much more diligent and responsible in their planning and execution.
20 Mar 2017

Tule wind project expansion clears legal hurdle

POC officials say they are not opposed to renewable energy but say the Tule Wind Project is located in a dangerous spot for birds, citing memos from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game that said Tule II “has a high potential” to injure or kill golden eagles and could impact their breeding territories.
9 Mar 2017

SN board nixes wind turbine proposal

SANTA NELLA - A proposal from a Netherlands-based company to construct an energy-producing wind turbine on property owned by the Santa Nella County Water District generated little enthusiasm from the district’s governing board.
2 Mar 2017

Tule wind construction resumes after suspension for diffing without cultural monitors present and unauthorized clearing

The Department of the Interior temporarily shut down construction of the Tule Wind Energy project in McCain Valley  on January 20th due to six confirmed violations of the right-of-way grant conditions, including “three incidents of ground disturbing work without a cultural monitor present and three incidents of clearing beyond the disturbance limits at four different locations,”  according to the notice of temporary suspension issued January 20th.
16 Feb 2017

How Mexican wind lights San Diego homes

Renewable energy from south of the border is beginning to make a big impact on the American side. Looming over the dry desert scrub, as high as a 25-story building, the giant turbines of the Energía Sierra Juárez wind farm punctuate the horizon just south of the California border, an otherworldly array of white tubular towers each topped with three, 12-ton blades.
16 Feb 2017

Iberdrola - Tule Wind construction suspension order

Blm-tulewind-tempconstructionsuspension_thumb The attached communications between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Iberdrola/Tule Wind detail the BLM's notice to suspend construction of the 186 MW wind project due to repeated violations of the right-of-way permit issued by the BLM. The Tule facility initiated construction on December 6, 2016. The notice to stop construction was issued on January 20, 2017. Construction has now resumed. Both the notice to suspend construction and to resume construction, which includes Iberdrola's response to the BLM, can be accessed by selecting the document links on this page, A portion of BLM's notice is provided below. 
13 Feb 2017

Court order: DOE failed to consider environmental impacts on Mexico

Esj_court_ruling_for_bad_27s_msj_1-30-17_thumb This important decision by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District in California found that the Department of Energy failed to follow NEPA when it issued a permit to construct a transmission line that crossed over from Mexico into the United States. The Court order that since the U.S. portion of the Line and the Mexican portion of the Line were literally "two links of a single chain" connecting the Substation to the ESJ Wind Farm, the DOE was required to consider the impacts of the project on Mexico. Portions of the decision are shown below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the document link on this page.
30 Jan 2017

Ocotillo turbine collapse investigation launched

Both this project and Siemens have a history of serious problems, however, leading to questions of whether federal or state oversight is needed to protect public safety. Ocotillo Wind, built by Pattern Energy, previously had a wind turbine fire in January 2015 and an 11-ton blade hurled off onto a public trail in May 2013, among other mechanical failures,  as we reported at the time. 
22 Nov 2016

The California duck curve is real, and bigger than expected

An analysis of CAISO data from 2011 through mid-2016 by consultancy ScottMadden reveals that California has largely exceeded its 2013 projections for lower net loads and higher ramps in energy demand. These changes are occurring in the wintertime too, another season that’s light on air conditioning load. In addition, the deepest drops are happening on weekends, not weekdays.
3 Nov 2016

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=California
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