Library from California
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.
Under the new rule approved 5-0, the county can allow exceptions if the variance doesn't endanger public safety, and if the exception increases power generating capacity or reduces risks that hawks and eagles would be hit by whirling turbine blades.
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.
The winds of change are blowing toward Contra Costa County regulation of new wind turbines, and county officials want to make sure the big energy machines don't create a safety risk to motorists driving by them on a busy commute route south of Byron.
A human-centric outlook, with its front-forward focus, helps little in devising bird-friendly remedies to prevent the deaths. Each year in the United States, 440,000 birds die from crashes with wind turbines, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"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.
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.
The three-year fight over the Sunrise Powerlink, which is designed to carry solar, wind and geothermal energy, typifies the serious challenges facing President Obama and many of the nation's governors as they tout the power of renewable energy to put people to work and rescue the planet from the effects of climate change.
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."
Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the air board approved the larger plan to implement AB32 prior to completing the required environmental review, and that the board failed to adequately consider alternatives to cap and trade. The Air Resources Board "seeks to create a fait accompli by premature establishment of a cap-and-trade program before alternative (sic) can be exposed to public comment and properly evaluated by the ARB itself."
A standing-room-only crowd got an earful on the property and health impacts of industrial wind turbines last Wednesday, when experts flew in from Illinois and Canada to speak at an informational meeting held at the Boulevard Fire Station.
The ruling could be a blow for area utilities all of which have faced opposition to transmission lines that would extend hundreds of miles through numerous communities. The companies are under pressure to meet state guidelines to generate more of their electricity from renewable sources.
The larger change is the addition of a minimum required setback for noise mitigation. Turbines with a maximum generation capacity equal to or greater than one megawatt would be required to maintain a 3,000-foot minimum setback from the nearest receptor (person living within visual or audible range) or residential parcel. The exception: if the noise study shows to the Commission’s satisfaction minimal noise impacts to residents, the CCC may approve a reduced setback.
Both McCann and Krogh said that a number of turbine neighbors had walked away from their homes, because they could not live with the impacts and no one would buy their homes. Others must find someplace away from the turbines to sleep and many have had to send their children to live with relatives to clear up various illnesses.
When the condors do move north (from Baja), will San Diego County greet them with open arms allowing them to nest and forage locally, or kill them off with a gauntlet of spinning wind turbine blades?
The first wind project in the works for Imperial Valley took a step forward last week, though some residents were not happy with a county commission's decision. The Airport Land Use Commission found the Ocotillo Express wind project to be consistent with the county's airport compatibility plan Wednesday, said commission chairman Larry Allen. It was a unanimous vote.
"In short, although the project would contribute to the California renewable generation goals, given the availability of other lower-priced renewable projects in the competitive market that could impose far less risks on ratepayers, PG&E has failed to demonstrate a need for this project."
"All this makes this whole situation so gray. And if you're a business trying to decide whether you should invest half a billion dollars in a wind farm in Oregon or Washington, or Montana for that matter, your financial folks are going to be pretty scared," said John Audley, deputy director of the Renewable Northwest Project.
On January 10, 2011, at 10:57 PST, a Rockwell International S-2R, impacted a meteorological tower (met tower) during an aerial application on Webb Tract Island, Oakley, California. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the pilot was killed. The met tower was erected for the purposes of planning a wind energy facility.
"The fact that these towers are narrow, unmarked, and grey in color makes for a structure that is nearly invisible under some atmospheric conditions," NTSB investigator Kristi Dunks wrote in the report.