Library from California

Wind power turbines threaten protected birds

Each year, about 2,000 raptors are killed in the Altamont Pass by wind turbines, according to on-site surveys conducted by field biologists. The toll, however, could be higher because bird carcasses are quickly removed by scavengers. Environmentalists have persuaded the energy industry and federal authorities - often through litigation - to modify the size, shape and placement of wind turbines.
10 Jun 2011

Pahnamid turbine meeting: residents tell county they don't want project

Attorney Kassandra McQuillen said the county's reduced setback requirement between towers and residences may constitute an unlawful taking. "It's the shortest setback in the nation," she said. "This is the only project I have serious problems with," said McQuillen, who has negotiated wind project leases for many property owners but refuses to write leases for the Pahnamid project.
12 May 2011

150 hear about NextEra wind farm at Lakes town council

The energy developers and their lobbyists have a headstart on the people who merely grew up in these hills and live their lives under these wide skies. But the residents are quick studies. They are coming to council meetings like this well-prepared with questions, and their love for this land is evident. ..."Utility-scale energy farms should be built on already- disturbed fallow farmland, not in existing wildlife habitat."
16 Apr 2011

SDG&E wind farm scaled back after protests

SDG&E originally planned to put up to $600 million of ratepayer funds into the farm, which was to be 309 megawatts. But critics complained to the California Public Utilities Commission that the financing arrangement put too much of the risk on ratepayers. They also didn't like the fact that the power would actually be sold in Canada, with SDG&E getting certificates.
12 Apr 2011

California firm joins Molokai wind project

First Wind missed the deadline, citing its inability to secure land for the wind proj­ect. First Wind, which is not an official party in the case before the PUC, asked HECO to petition the commission for a deadline extension on its behalf. When HECO declined, First Wind appealed directly to the PUC.
4 Apr 2011

Sand Canyon wind project draws crowd

"We want to know what your concerns are in this very early stage of design," Smith said. "We don't want it," canyon resident Steve Steele said. "Put one in your backyard first and then you can put one in mine." ...Residents expressed concerns including access, safety, wildfire potential, noise, and impact on the environment and wildlife as well as their property values.
23 Feb 2011

Utilities' renewable energy pacts expensive

Since the law was passed, 59 percent of the contracts the utilities have signed with renewable power developers have been more expensive than the levelized price of electricity from a new natural gas plant. The levelized price takes into account the costs of building, operating and fueling the plant. ..."The thrust of the message is, we need some kind of cost containment," said Yuliya Shmidt, a regulatory analyst with the commission's Division of Ratepayer Advocates.
19 Feb 2011

Shifting winds: MSTI investment in peril?

Vincent questions whether the California decision will leave investors and developers reluctant to invest in new transmission. "That puts a big question mark over whether it's worthy of the investment," he said. "Every article that I've read about it has essentially said in one way or the other that this is bad news for Washington, Oregon and Montana wind. It has got to almost change the paradigm."
13 Feb 2011
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