Library from California
Though the Obama administration has recently renewed its commitment to approve more wind facilities on public lands as part of the Climate Action Plan it released this week, a new study indicates that wind development in California has far fewer benefits than it does elsewhere in the United States.
"Basically our community is being turned into an industrial energy zone, unwillingly," Tisdale said. "The county and the feds have not done their due diligence about what happens to people when they allow these things too close to homes and sensitive wildlife areas."
Tisdale and her fellow plaintiffs say many landowners in rural San Diego County have come under pressure to sell or lease portions of their land to developers. The decision by county supervisors to tailor the County's General Plan and zoning ordinance by blowing up the restrictions on wind farms and individual wind turbines, only makes matters worse.
In short, California Democrats are proving that the real point of cap and trade is to give politicians another revenue stream for income redistribution while dodging accountability for raising taxes. That's worth keeping in mind when liberals resurrect the scheme for the entire U.S.
San Diego County Supervisors are being sued over their May 15th approval of the technically and legally flawed Wind Energy Ordinance & Plan Amendment-that benefits wealthy industrial wind and solar developers, San Diego Gas & Electric, Sempra, and absentee land-owners at the expense of rural east county residents and valued resources.
The long-lasting legal disputes related to five U.S. wind farms in which Infigen holds interest, particularly California's Kumeyaay Wind Farm. Following a December 2009 storm, Infigen claimed Gamesa was liable to pay over $30 million for site repairs and replacement of all 75 wind turbines at Kumeyaay. Gamesa, meanwhile, maintained that Kumeyaay Wind LLC should bear the costs.
The existence of the permit applications was revealed by FOIA requests by Oklahoma journalist Louise Red Corn, and shared Thursday in a web-based seminar held by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC). The 102.5-megawatt Shiloh IV Wind project applied for its take permit in March 2012, and the other three projects have applied in the last six months.
The PUC approved Southern California Edison's Techachapi Renewable Transmission Project back in 2009; it's designed to bring wind energy from Kern County to the L.A. basin. But the project's been on hold for four years as Chino Hills city leaders and residents have complained that the right of way is too narrow, and that putting high-voltage transmission lines so close to residents could create unknown health impacts.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) complaint was filed last week by Stephan C. Volker of Volker Law on behalf of two rural East County grassroots non-profit groups. It challenges the San Diego County Board of Supervisors' May 15th 4-1 vote approving the Wind Energy Ordinance and Plan Amendment that sacrifices predominantly low-income rural communities and valued resources for unreliable, intermittent, and expensive industrial-scale wind and solar projects.
A Texas energy firm has abandoned its bid to build hundreds of wind turbines in Dunnigan Hills, according to a letter to one of the landowners. "In the end, we were not able to secure a partner," said Patrick Buckley of Pioneer Green Energy, in a letter to Charlie Schaupp explaining why the company was pulling out.
The Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association and other groups argue that the fast-tracking of wind and solar energy plants will prevent local groups and residents from directing these projects to the least invasive locations.
The California condor's slow 20-year climb back from the brink of extinction has long been a fragile not-quite-success story in the conservation world. So when the news came on Friday that developers of a wind-energy project near the Mojave Desert would not face criminal charges if the blades killed a single condor, environmental groups expressed grave concern. "This blindsided folks," Kelly Fuller of the American Bird Conservancy said in an interview.
In granting a right-of-way, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, with approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will shield Alta Windpower Development from prosecution if a condor is fatally injured at its 2,300-acre site near the high-desert town of Mojave during the projected 30-year lifetime of the project.
In response, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is calling on the Department of the Interior to reverse the decision, charging that allowing the legal killing of one of the most imperiled birds in the United States threatens endangered species conservation efforts across the country.
Randy Hoyle strode proudly this week along a wind-swept expanse of sand, sage and juniper in the Tehachapi Mountains that will soon bristle with antennas and listening devices designed to protect endangered California condors. As Hoyle explained, the forbidding terrain is the future home of Terra-Gen Power's 2,300-acre Alta Windpower Development —and that project will include equipment to detect incoming condors soon enough to switch off the company's massive wind turbines before they slice into one of the birds.
The mystery behind a fallen turbine blade at the Ocotillo Wind power plant east of San Diego has led the manufacturer to curtail operations at select wind farms around the world. ...The fallen blade ignited new safety concerns among critics of the plant, who posted photos and videos to the internet of the crumpled white tube.
No injuries were reported, according to the El Centro newspaper. But worldwide use of that model of turbine has been suspended while the mishap is investigated by its manufacturer, Siemens. ...In April, a blade broke from a similar Siemens turbine at an Iowa wind energy facility, the Imperial Valley Press reported.
A Siemens spokeswoman explained that "when a turbine is curtailed, it means the load on the blade is significantly reduced compared to normal operation." The company said there were about 700 such turbines deployed around the world, with most - around 600 - in the United States, and all those turbines were being examined.
NAW has learned that a blade belonging to a Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbine came crashing to the ground at the 265 MW Ocotillo Wind Farm in the early morning hours of May 16. No one was injured. A spokesperson from Pattern Energy, which owns and operates Ocotillo, corroborated the incident.
Siemens does not yet know the root cause of this incident and is working to determine if and how this is related to a recent similar incident in Iowa. Today, Siemens is taking the step of curtailing all turbines with the B53 blade type globally. These turbines will remain curtailed until it can be determined they are not at risk of a similar malfunction. The Iowa incident took place in April at MidAmerican Holdings' 200-megawatt Eclipse wind farm.