Library filed under Zoning/Planning from California
The Lompoc Wind Farm was on the supervisors' plate this Tuesday after neighbors of the project site, George and Cheryl Bedford, and the California Department of Fish and Game filed appeals of its unanimous approval at the County Planning Commission last fall. The latter objected to the undeniable impact that the wind turbines, with their 135-foot blades approaching 200 miles per hour at the tip, would have on bird and bat populations. The former was more concerned about the desecration of viewsheds and noise pollution.
Federal approval could come early this year, after a seven-year fight with opponents, including environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who might see the towers on the horizon five miles offshore from their vacation homes. Will we have the same battles here, or will Marin accept the installation of renewable energy producing facilities "in our backyard"? Enthusiastic support for the abstract concept of renewable energy sources now meets the reality of what's on the ground.
Diana Hofman thought her frustrations with Murrieta city government would be whooshed away by her backyard wind turbine. Instead, the wind energy pioneer said she's fuming over the city's determination that the 40-foot-tall windmill is too bright. Hofman said the city told her they won't make a final inspection of the galvanized steel windmill until it loses its luster.
Now we're being asked to give a blank check to the DWP and City Hall to spend billions of dollars on the nation's largest solar energy initiative ever -- a proposal that has no planning, no financial analysis, no engineering study. Approval of Measure B on the March 3 ballot would be a costly mistake. It will cost ratepayers dearly, set back hopes for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and provide the special interests and politicians with a license to steal.
The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday cleared the way for construction of the Sunrise Powerlink, a contentious transmission line that promises to bring more reliable and renewable power from the Imperial Valley to San Diego. The 4-1 vote allows San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to move forward with the 123-mile, $1.9 billion power-line project, which could deliver enough electricity to serve 650,000 households.
The board votes to grant more time for ongoing discussions between the parties involved. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 4-0 (Supervisor Joni Gray recused herself) to continue a hearing on appeals of the Lompoc Wind Energy Project to a date in February 2009.
Two appeals filed against the approval of the Lompoc wind energy project are on the board's agenda, but the project applicant requested Friday that they be postponed. The supervisors received the letters from Acciona Energy asking for a 60-day continuance, because it would provide more time to work with the appellants - Lompoc area residents George and Cheryl Bedford and the California Department of Fish and Game. ...The state Department of Fish and Game was more concerned with bird and bat deaths that are common to wind turbines.
Two appeals filed against the approval of the Lompoc wind energy project are on the board's agenda, but the project applicant requested Friday that they be postponed. The supervisors received the letters from Acciona Energy asking for a 60-day continuance, because it would provide more time to work with the appellants - Lompoc area residents George and Cheryl Bedford and the California Department of Fish and Game.
The decision to build the Tranquillon Ridge Wind Farm by county planners was made much too quickly and with the near exclusion of input from Lompoc. Mark these concerns: ...
The Shasta County Planning Commission unanimously approved plans for a string of wind turbines atop Hatchet Ridge near here at its meeting tonight. Commissioners approved the electricity-generating project on a 5-0 vote after listening to three hours of testimony ...Opponents of the 100-megawatt project said they plan to appeal the decision to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors.
California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) is one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country Established in 2002 under Senate Bill 1078 and accelerated in 2006 under Senate Bill 107, California's RPS obligates investor‐owned utilities (IOUs), energy service providers (ESPs) and community choice aggregators (CCAs) to procure an additional 1% of retail sales per year from eligible renewable sources until 20% is reached, no later than 2010.The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Energy Commission (CEC) are jointly responsible for implementing the program.
Even though an alternative energy project near Lompoc will most likely kill an unknown number of birds or bats, the Santa Barbara County planning staff has recommended that it be approved Tuesday. ...The project, which comprises 65 wind turbines, onsite collector power lines, electrical substation operations and maintenance building and other facilities, would pose several environmental impacts that cannot be mitigated. ...Although the final environmental report concluded that a downsized project would be environmentally superior, county planning staff disagreed. "The benefits of the full, proposed project far outweigh the adverse environmental impacts associated with it," the staff report stated.
The final environmental impact report for a proposed "wind farm" near Lompoc that could power up to 50,000 homes was released Monday and will be subject of a public hearing Sept. 30 in Santa Maria. An application for a major conditional use permit was filed in February 2006 by Pacific Renewable Energy Generation, which proposes to build 65 wind turbines about 390 feet high on approximately 2,950 acres of coastal ridges southwest of Lompoc, according to the county staff report.
Forcing a quick decision on the Hatchet Ridge Wind turbine project divides the citizens of Burney. Looking at the recent article in both CNN and the Record Searchlight about the polarizing effects the arrival of wind power has had on the small town of Lowville, N.Y., the situation there is similar to what is taking place in Burney over the Hatchet Ridge turbines. The 195 400-foot turbines in New York state have pitted "neighbor against neighbor and father against son." There are similar strong feelings in Burney.
The struggle to support renewable energy while protecting residents’ quality of life continues, as Victorville denied a wind turbine in a residential neighborhood. “It may be safe and permissible, but I don’t think it’s the best location.” Councilman Mike Rothschild said. Resident Jintau Two applied for a conditional use permit to install a 40-foot-tall wind turbine in his backyard, a 2.3-acre lot on Cabrillo Drive off of Seneca Road.
The Kern County Board of Supervisors is set to consider plans for a 5,800-acre wind farm designed to provide electricity to 90,000 homes. Officials with the PdV Wind Energy Project say that between 100 and 300 turbines would generate electricity to be supplied to Southern California Edison.
Lewis calls the whole proposal, its implications and its aftermath "just weird." For instance, he didn't receive the letter from Schumacher until July 5 - almost three weeks after the board's decision. "This letter was the first anyone knew about it," Lewis said. "We were just shocked this could happen without notifying anybody." Galvin is mobilizing the neighborhood and hopes people will show up at a school district meeting tonight to complain. "It's imperative we show opposition to this thing. Otherwise it's going to get shoved down our throats, which is what the school district has done already," she said. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Windaction.org has been informed that this project has since been canceled due to complaints filed by residents in Torrance.]
When it unveiled its Sunrise Powerlink project three years ago, San Diego County's electric utility warned that rolling blackouts like those that swept California during the 2000-01 electricity crisis could return to the region in 2010 without the new power line. Now, because of state delays in evaluating the $1.5 billion project, that high-voltage transmission line ---- even if it is eventually approved ---- won't be available to help meet the county's peak summer demand for electricity in either 2010 or 2011, utility officials say. ...Bill Powers, an activist and engineer from San Diego who has been fighting Sunrise, maintains there is another option: Ship the power west via an existing line in Baja California and north on wires that connect Tijuana with San Diego. "You've got a lot of options here that don't necessarily involve building any new transmission," Powers said.
In a setback for San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s controversial transmission line, state regulators Friday ordered that a draft report examining the Sunrise Powerlink's environmental impacts be expanded to include new information about a Mexico wind power project. The four-page ruling by California Public Utilities Commissioner Dian Grueneich and Administrative Law Judge Steven Weissman also directs the agency that runs the state power grid to recalculate the economic benefits of Sunrise and project alternatives. The ruling marked the second time in a year that the finish line for the $1.5 billion project has been pushed back.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has under contract all of the renewable power it needs to meet state mandates by 2010, if the promised power systems can be built in time. It's a big if. Expiring tax credits, the lag in building utility-scale renewable energy and increased competition for renewable power sources are potential roadblocks for the Northern California utility and the state's two other major utilities. ...Another issue for PG&E and the other utilities is that costs are rising 20 percent per year for renewable power.