Articles filed under General from California

Power line project is running on life support

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.
8 Jul 2009

TANC opponents decry meeting cancellation

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."
3 Jul 2009

SMUD pullout dims hopes for big power project

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.
3 Jul 2009

Project pullout leaves SMUD scrambling to fill power needs

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.
3 Jul 2009

Setback for Controversial TANC Project

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 The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has withdrawn from the $1.5 billion dollar project.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.
2 Jul 2009

Power line plan fizzles with residents

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.
1 Jul 2009

Power line foes charge ahead

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.
27 Jun 2009

Report finds Brisbane Baylands not suitable for wind-generated electricity

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.
13 Jun 2009

Change in wind could boost valley's 'green' business

In the midst of a push for "green" wind power, wind speeds are slowing in the East and Midwest - ironically due to global warming - according to a new study. But the study also shows a slight increase in wind speeds in the Coachella Valley and other parts of California. That could mean more demand from our sea of windmills, a scientist and an industry official said.
12 Jun 2009

Renewable energy sparks a probe of a modern-day land rush

A rush to stake claims for renewable energy projects in the California desert has triggered a federal investigation and prompted calls for reforms to prevent public lands from being exposed to private profiteering and environmental degradation. Officials said last week that the inspector general's office of the Department of the Interior was investigating Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar Inc.'s recent acquisition of Hayward, Calif.-based OptiSolar, and its unfinished renewable energy projects, for $400 million.
1 Jun 2009

Proposed wind farm might not benefit valley

The city's press release stated: "AB1318 is essential to the future development of clean and alternative energy generation in the Coachella Valley because it will provide the ability to increase harnessing of renewable energy at the proposed peaker plant while maintaining the highest emission standards." Nichols took issue with that, saying, "I would like to know how."
23 May 2009

Hatchet Ridge wind project moving forward despite delays

Financial turbulence has delayed construction of a massive wind-power project in eastern Shasta County. Work on the 103-megawatt Hatchet Ridge Wind Project will begin this summer, George Hardie, senior developer for Babcock and Brown International, said Tuesday. Hardie had said the plan was to start building this spring on the ridge overlooking Burney after the Shasta County Board of Supervisors denied appeals to the controversial turbines last fall.
20 May 2009

Contentious transmission line before council

Tonight the council will listen to a presentation about the Transmission Agency of Northern California - also known as TANC - and their current examination into constructing a set of arterial transmission lines that will essentially run from Santa Clara over the heart of the South County before heading all the way up to the rim of the Sacramento Valley and over to Lassen County.
19 May 2009

Officials wary of power line project

Local officials are expressing displeasure over a lack of public notice regarding a plan for a new 600-mile transmission line that would span Northern California, possibly passing through Colusa, Glenn and Tehama counties. The Western Area Power Administration and the Transmission Agency of Northern California, a consortium of 15 North State public utilities, in February announced plans for the new electrical route expected to cost $1.5 billion to potentially generate up to 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy.
5 May 2009

Comment period extended on powerline project

Officials got an earful when they visited Redding earlier this month. Nearly 200 Shasta and Tehama County residents packed the Red Lion Hotel ballroom asking skeptical and sometimes hostile questions about the proposed project. ...The new line would also allow TANC members access to wind, solar and geothermal energy that may one day be developed in Lassen County and other rural areas.
27 Apr 2009

Ocean power surges forward

Three miles off the craggy, wave-crashing coastline near Humboldt Bay, Calif., deep ocean swells roll through a swath of ocean that is soon to be the site of the nation's first major wave-power project.
24 Apr 2009

Speaking of wind turbines ...

Regardless, reporter Nick Green was reminded of a link sent to him months after the controversy over a planned turbine at a Torrance elementary school. (That plan was dropped after a neighborhood outcry.) A turbine on a high school campus in Ohio fell apart with a big bang back in February, according to a local news report.
23 Apr 2009

Local groups file appeal over Sunrise Powerlink project

An appeal to the U.S. Department of the Interior over its Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval of San Diego Gas & Electric's Sunrise Powerlink transmission project was filed recently by three local organizations in San Diego County. The appeal notice to the Interior Board of Land Appeals is the first step to a court appeal. It shows that the BLM failed to adequately conduct environmental reviews and therefore BLM's decision to approve the project should be reviewed.
2 Apr 2009

Bankruptcy won't halt Hatchet Ridge wind turbine project

Despite a bankruptcy declaration filed by its financier, the Hatchet Ridge Wind Project will continue with plans to set 43 windmills in eastern Shasta County, representatives of the business said. Nevertheless, opponents of the turbine project, like Bob Nelson of Save Burney's Skyline, said they found hope in the news of Australian-based Babcock & Brown's financial troubles.
29 Mar 2009
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