Library filed under Impact on People from California
Demand for clean energy has led to a wind turbine building boom. But many living in their shadow decry the electricity generating projects as pesky eyesores.
"We must make every effort to ensure that these projects are developed in a manner that respects the residents of the community in which they are located. Indiscriminate placement of these resources in pursuit of energy or financial gains fails to protect the very individuals that proponents of these projects claim to be serving."
Now many residents aren't so sure it is the right place. "If they mess up our canyon, then they mess up the rest of our lives," said Young. Resident Bob Biggs agreed. "It doesn't really fit well with 500-foot tall industrial machines," he said.
"It's going to change the whole landscape," said Starks, a resident of Snow Creek ..."What it really is going to change is the first impression of the desert (visitors get) when they get off the freeway because it's going to be towering over their heads. It will be like driving into an industrial slum."
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."
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.
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.
"California is a very big variable," said Elliot Mainzer, who is Bonneville Power Administration's guru on how to balance future energy and environmental needs here in the Northwest. When asked if he thought California was carrying its weight as far as managing those type of issues, he said "I would like to see California pay a little bit more attention to our issues, quite frankly."
Environmentalists, desert enthusiasts, and rural residents have objected to the project on numerous grounds including impacts on desert bighorn sheep and other threatened or endangered wildlife, destruction of historic Spanish and Native American trails, and more. Preston J. Arrow-Weed, a member of the Quechan Native American tribe, called the proposed project "genocide of our tribal ways and culture" ...The ramifications could extend beyond solar plants to also impact major wind farm projects.
Eric Sweet, member of a longtime ranching family whose home is on North Flynn Road, said that in preparing an EIR for two turbine repowering projects in the Altamont, the county needs to keep in mind the noise impacts on neighbors. He made his remarks at an EIR scoping meeting at the Dublin Library on Sept. 2.
"I just feel a total loss of what will no longer be," she said. She said that includes unspoiled views of McCain Valley wiped out and pointed to noise complaints that followed a nearby unrelated wind project when 25 wind turbines were put in just north of I-8 near Boulevard several years ago.
But neighbors say the wind turbine ruins the quiet nature of the neighborhood, lowers their property values and deprives them of sleep. At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting there was a lengthy discussion of Steinsiek's turbine. ...Gary Marquis, who said for 20 years he has heard frogs and crickets. "Now I listen to a wind turbine," he said.
"We all hate to see the desert disappear for sure, but we sure need the jobs here," he said. If everything were to go in as proposed, the scenery will be drastically different, said county Supervisor Jack Terrazas, who represents the area on the Board of Supervisors. There are a lot of projects that want to locate near Ocotillo.
The open, wind-swept terrain here makes it an ideal area for Imperial County's renewable energy projects, but residents have varying views about the modern development. ...District 2 county Supervisor Jack Terrazas' jurisdiction includes Ocotillo. "What we have to weigh is what is most beneficial for everyone," he said. "At the same time, we're faced with mandates from a government edict that mandates the use of more green energy."
A $1.7 billion Southern California Edison renewable energy project under construction in three counties met with a legal challenge today from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The project is intended to create 250 miles of new and upgraded electrical transmission facilities and substations. The project will transmit electrical power from wind farms in Tehachapi.
For over 20 years Riverside Country Supervisors and the Palm Springs City Council have changed land use variances in favor of Wind Power Developers ignoring the California Energy Commission recommendations for wind turbine setbacks to residential structures. Duration: 4 minutes 8 seconds
A turbine fire at a wind facility approved by Riverside County in California spewed toxic fumes into the homes of nearby residents. The residents describe their experience with the fire. The County supervisors were dismissive of the issue. Duration: 7 minutes 35 seconds
The battle over a new wind farm in Tehachapi is now heading to the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Kern County planning commissioners approved the Alta-Oak Creek Mojave wind project late Thursday night after hearing both sides of the debate. After hours of emotional testimony from Tehachapi residents, the planning commissioners approved a 9,000 acre wind farm in the small mountain town. It could be the largest wind energy project in California, but it has Tehachapi residents' heads spinning.
Hundreds of Tehachapi residents are trying to ban a wind farm from blowing into their part of town, but Kern County may not have legal grounds to stop the San Diego company that wants to build it. The nearly 700 Tehachapi residents have signed a petition against giant wind generators, but it's not because they're anti-environment. It's quite the opposite. They just don't want the wind farms blowing in their back yards. "If you picture a football field spinning in the air, that's how big they will be," Kassandra McQuillen explained.
In 2007, SCE proposed its $1.72 billion dollar Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP) to bring renewable wind energy to Southern California. A small portion of the project passes through the community of Chino Hills. This is the only community along the 173 mile route where SCE proposes to construct 200-foot high, 60-foot wide poles within 75 feet of homes. SCE has never done this before. Nor has any utility in the country ever installed a 500,000 volt transmission line so close to existing homes. Over 1,000 homes will be within 500 feet of the line, along with daycares, places of worship and parks.