Library from California
The controversial Ocotillo Express wind project erected by Pattern Energy dominates the skyline with blinking lights. Duration: 1 minutes 38 seconds
The power they produce can suddenly disappear when a cloud bank moves across the Mojave Desert or wind stops blowing through the Tehachapi Mountains. In just half an hour, a thousand megawatts of electricity can disappear and threaten stability of the grid. To avoid that calamity, fossil fuel plants have to be ready to generate electricity in mere seconds.
I now have bright red lights flashing in my face which I can also see inside my house which are very annoying and totally unacceptable." The shadow flicker has a disquieting impact as well, casting vast moving shadows as three blades on each turbine rotates.
If you thought your monthly utility bills were high now, just wait. According to the nonpartisan Little Hoover Commission's report, "Rewiring California," ratepayers face soaring electrical bills because of the move toward adding more solar and wind energy to the power grid.
California's push toward clean and renewable energy will likely translate into higher electric bills for both businesses and consumers, according to a newly released report. The Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency, included that finding in its report, "Rewiring California: Integrating Agendas for Energy Reform."
This report by the California Milton Marks “Little Hoover” Commission, an independent state oversight agency, calls on State leaders to direct the state’s energy organizations to assess the cumulative impact of recent major energy-related policies on electricity rates and reliability and whether these policies are achieving California’s energy and environmental goals. An excerpt of the executive summary is provided below. The full report can be found by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
A low price for credits and minimal demand for future offsets suggest California will see a mere fraction of the $1 billion that Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers estimated the state would receive this fiscal year. If demand remains similar in two forthcoming auctions, the state would generate only about $140 million.
A proposed wind turbine installation that would have covered more than 63,000 acres of the California desert on the eastern edge of Joshua Tree National Park has been canceled by the Bureau of Land Management, ReWire has learned.
It is unclear how many jobs Clipper might shed. At its high point, the firm employed about 770 people. ...By February, Clipper will consist of “somewhere under 100 employees.” Clipper’s development operations have ceased, and it is likely that the only part of the company to live on will be servicing the proprietary gearboxes in its 739-turbine fleet, this person said.
Barbara Boyle, a senior representative at the Sierra Club's regional field office in Sacramento, says Ivanpah could have been located at any number of other locations where it would have had less impact on the environment and the tortoises that live there. Boyle says there are multiple areas in Southern California, including old dried-up agricultural lands and mining areas, that would have been more suitable.
As in Ocotillo, where a wind project has anguished tribal members and residents with destruction of cultural and environmental resources, the community of Boulevard now faces an onslaught of massive "green" energy projects on public, tribal and private lands. Area residents described bizarre wildlife behavior that they attribute to infrasound and stray voltage, including “crazed” coyotes climbing trees. A planner said she was forced to move out of her home due to illness she attributes to wind turbines. Two Manzanita Indians voiced fears over serious illnesses and the future of their reservation due to stray voltage from turbines on the nearby Campo reservation.
The problem is that the City of Tehachapi, like many businesses, is on a Southern California Edison "power savings plan," which involves reduced costs when usage is lowered during peak hours, generally, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Penalty fees can be levied against the city if usage during those hours spikes. ...the turbines draw significant amounts of electricity when being started. This can result in thousands of dollars in added energy costs.
The family of a pilot killed in a 2011 plane crash on a Delta island is suing those responsible for building the meteorological tower his airplane struck, saying it was purposely built to avoid federal regulations for making such structures more visible.
As turbines rise in Ocotillo Wind Express, questions remain over the type of impacts the project will bring to the Valley and its westernmost community. Some fear about their health. But whether turbines do in fact pose health concerns is an issue of much contention as studies and experts sit on opposing sides.
The Shiloh Wind Power Plant located in the Montezuma Hills of Solano County, California, USA, very near Bird's Landing. The site, located 40 miles northeast of San Francisco, has a nameplate capacity of 505 megawatts (MW). It was constructed in 4 stages (Shiloh I, II, III and IV) between 2005 and 2012.
Experts differ on whether subsidies are the most sensible way to move toward cleaner energy and whether they are a good deal for taxpayers. But there is wide agreement that no state has used federal help more aggressively than California and that a sudden shift in direction by the White House would stymie the state's progress.
U.S. District Court Judge William Hayes dismissed a lawsuit filed by Community Advocates for Renewable Energy Stewardship (CARES). The group sought an injunction to halt construction of the Ocotillo Express wind energy facility on public land.
The protesters held a mock funeral procession to mourn what they see as the loss of the Ocotillo desert, and "to demonstrate to the public that we are really unhappy with National Public Lands Day being celebrated in the face of destruction of many thousands of acres of land for land energy projects."
"This was a total dog and pony show and not unexpected. We wanted protection from the intrusion of big energy within our community. And, we did not want industry and commercial property right next to our homes and communities," said Mesonika Piecuch who is against wind farms near communities.
But, residents near the turbines are worried they are back to Square One with no real zoning that might stop the wide expansion. At first, the maps were thought of as a hard line in the dirt where wind turbines could be built. But, the maps have since evolved to where they may be used only for guidance.