Articles filed under General from California
Spurred by 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, the county's draft position statement addresses alternate ways for developers to conserve habitats and species, such as fencing to protect tortoises from roads instead of closing off thousands of undeveloped acres from future economic development.
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.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to boost rates at the Department of Water and Power has drawn an outcry from business leaders who fear that his promise to create "green jobs" will be accomplished at the expense of their own workers
Wind energy farms may sound environmentally friendly. Nettie Pena's documentary film "They're Not Green" aims to show that they're anything but. The one-hour film was shown last Saturday night at the Yucca Valley Community Center in an event hosted by the Alliance for Responsible Energy Policy and the Homestead Valley Community Council.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's appointees at the Department of Water and Power took the first step Thursday toward imposing electric rate increases of up to 28%, despite complaints from neighborhood activists and business groups. On a 4-0 vote, the board agreed to increase the cost of electricity by 0.8 of a cent per kilowatt hour.
In February, the Board of Supervisors approved changes to the county code in an effort to streamline the permitting process for renewable energy projects. The new mandates require the maximum height of wind turbines on private properties between 2 1/2 to 5 acres to be no more than 80 feet tall. The maximum height for wind turbines on property that is 5 acres or more is 100 feet.
As intermittent energy such as wind spreads, the grid will need to rely on more expensive thermal generation such as natural-gas peakers to meet demand not met by renewables, according to a February 2010 paper from James Bushnell, director of the UC Energy Institute. What's more, adding large amounts of wind won't reduce the need for thermal generation by that much.
When 11 wind turbines stood idle about a month ago, some in the Minnesota wind industry worried that the machines were generating something other than power -- bad publicity. At a time when wind power is getting federal energy grants, the fear was that people might question taxpayer subsidies and how effective wind energy is ...The stalled machines were giving Minnesota wind energy "a black eye."
Bird migration concerns did little to stop the Planning Commission from rubber-stamping a wind turbine for the Walmart distribution center. Two men, whose workplace or property neighbor the center, were the sole opposition present at a meeting Thursday morning, and both said they were worried the wind turbine would interfere with birds attracted to a series of retaining pools that collect on the land.
Federal agencies cut corners and violated environmental laws in approving San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s Sunrise Powerlink, opponents of the big power line claimed yesterday in a lawsuit. They are asking a federal judge in Sacramento to keep construction of the proposed transmission line from the Imperial Valley to San Diego from starting until a new review of the project is completed.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego will start taking an in-depth look at one of these less-studied structures tomorrow when they subject an 80-foot, 23,400-pound working wind turbine to a series of simulated earthquakes escalating to more than 7.0 in magnitude. This will be only the second known test of a full-sized wind turbine on a shake table.
A battle between backers of wind projects in the mountains east of San Diego and those who say big windmills don't belong in rural communities because they damage the environment is being taken up by state and federal agencies working on a tight deadline. Opponents and supporters of three big projects clashed this week at standing-room-only meetings in small towns just north of the U.S.-Mexico border and about 70 miles east of San Diego.
The 50-megawatt project being pitched by Shell Wind Energy would use 25 wind turbines along the ridge south of Ferndale, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already said it will affect protected marbled murrelets. The service is working with Shell to develop a habitat conservation plan meant to reduce and mitigate damage to the birds.
Marin County's attempt to simplify the permitting process for wind turbines could double or triple costs for potential builders. In their effort to streamline the production of renewable energy, the Planning Commission and Community Development Agency face the high costs of environmental reviews and concerns over public health that may keep the technology a vision of the distant future.
Thirty-three wind turbines could be sprouting up on 1,957 acres of public and private land about six miles southeast of Barstow. The turbines could be visible from within Barstow city limits and from Barstow Road, according to a representative from the company proposing the wind farm. AES Wind Generation, a Virginia-based company, plans to build the 82.5 megawatt wind farm.
Marin's publicly elected treasurer and tax collector is calling on the Board of Supervisors to withdraw its support for Marin Clean Energy. "At this time, the program doesn't make sense from a fiscal perspective and the program's benefits are uncertain," Michael Smith wrote in an e-mail he sent to supervisors Thursday notifying them of his stance. "Should your board decide not to withdraw then give our residents the option to vote on the program."
There are 244 renewable energy projects proposed in California, according to a list provided by the governor's office. While the bulk of the largest would-be power generators are massive solar projects in the California desert, there are many wind projects also on the list, with Kern County being a favored location.
The Lompoc project calls for up to 65 turbines, each about 400 feet tall with blades about 130 feet wide, along the ridgelines above a giant bowl. ..."It's just very frustrating with what's going on up there", says rancher George Bedford, "we live in a beautiful area, a beautiful county." He tried unsuccessfully to stop the project from moving forward because of its expected deadly impacts to avian wildlife which Acciona has promised to mitigate.
For every one acre impacted by a wind farm, two acres will be planted for wildlife. That was the message Elon Hasson, project manager for Horizon Wind Energy, brought to the county commissioners meeting here last week. "We use the same permitting as nuclear centers," Hasson said. "We conduct at least a year's worth of studies for wildlife and cultural." Horizon Wind Energy is looking at erecting a wind farm outside of Othello on the upper slope of the Saddle Mountains.
The county board of supervisors unanimously approved plans to build the state's largest wind farm in East Kern County last week. ...Following a lengthy discussion Tuesday, Dec. 15, talks regarding the Alta-Oak Creek Mojave Project were "tailed" until later in the meeting to allow private negotiations between Terra-Gen Power and residents fearing three of the turbines would be built too close to Old West Ranch, an unincorporated community east of Tehachapi.