Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from California
A third problem is the bill’s requirement that the federal government sell wind leases off the California coast within a year of enactment. While wind farms can be a good source of renewable energy, they are just starting to be sited in the ocean — with none yet off the coast of California. Wind farms should not be arbitrarily rushed into existence, as this bill would do.
For wind proponents who insist that wildlife can co-exist around operating wind turbines, this study explains how the behavior of animals resident within a wind project site changed their behavior and avoided the project area. In particular, the researchers identified the loss of habitat due to the access roads and noise/vibrations of the turbines. A portion of the document is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page. In addition, supplemental data from the study is also attached to this page.
“We endorse renewable energy, but this was the wrong project in the wrong location.”
That Environmental Impact Statement assumed that Bechtel would be able to use existing transmission lines on the site to get power from Soda Mountain to Los Angeles. But those transmission lines belong to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which announced in June — the same week as the Soda Mountain EIS was released — that it wouldn't be buying power from the project. LADWP said that the project would be too environmentally destructive to justify their becoming a customer. ...And without that transmission, it's unlikely the project will ever obtain a contract with a utility to sell its power.
About 100 people attend a forum in Morro Bay hosted by Trident Winds. Residents questioned officials about impacts to fishing, views, lights and the environment. Trident plans to file the first of three dozen permit applications in January
The first phase identifies national conservation lands and designates areas of critical environmental concern, wildlife allocations, and national scenic and historic trail management corridors to conserve biological, cultural and other values. Furthermore, the DOI says special recreation management areas and extensive recreation management areas are identified to recognize and promote recreational opportunities and public access. Thus, these lands would be closed to renewable energy and benefit from adaptive management in the face of climate change, the agency explains.
Even on paper, it was a wonder: Three expansive circles of shining mirrors supplicating three glowing 500-foot-tall towers, each engineered to turn the sun’s heat into electricity in the otherwise godforsaken Mojave Desert. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System offered a sparkling vision of our nature-powered future, whose every gigawatt would keep tons of coal’s heat-trapping pollutants out of the atmosphere. BrightSource Inc., a company based in Oakland, California, would design it; construction giant Bechtel would build it on 4,000 acres near the California-Nevada border. It would supply clean electricity to 140,000 homes.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday it had eliminated a quarter of the proposed Soda Mountain Solar project but will allow most of its construction on nearly 2,000 acres near Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. ...The project is in an area where such development would be prohibited under the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.
The California desert may be a green energy developer's dream, but county officials have serious concerns about a plan to manage renewable energy projects on 22 million acres of the state's sunniest public and private lands.
The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday denied a Spanish company's application to build a controversial renewable energy facility in the Mojave Desert's remote Silurian Valley, deciding the sprawling project “would not be in the public interest.” ...Among the specific concerns the BLM noted were that the facility would disrupt migration corridors critical to bighorn sheep and other wildlife.
While the plan covers all renewable energy development. ...The plan's preferred alternative does not, however, create new zones for wind development in either Riverside or Imperial County, with few areas opened to wind overall. Nancy Rader — executive director of the California Wind Energy Association — said in a statement the industry's "worst fears are being realized."
Wind turbine blades rip through federally protected golden and bald eagles and other raptors, but rather than fine the industry, the Obama administration quietly expanded their permits. Meanwhile, in Alaska, the Interior Department prohibited a remote fishing village from building a gravel road, saying it would affect eelgrass that serves as a way-stop meal for migratory birds.
The investigators want the halt until the full extent of the deaths can be assessed. Estimates per year now range from a low of about a thousand by BrightSource to 28,000 by an expert for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group.
A new study claims that California could power itself entirely with wind, water, solar, and geothermal energy by 2050, ...The catch is that California would need to build miles utility-scale solar power plants and wind turbines covering 3,426 square miles of the state with offshore wind installations covering an additional 1,406 square miles of the Pacific Ocean.
The system produces power by reflecting line from more than 300,000 giant mirrors onto three water towers. The sunlight hitting the towers can create temperatures of up to 1,000F (530C), producing steam which then drives generator turbines. Yet this process also creates an extremely hot “thermal flux” around the tower. ...birds found on the site in November last year were likely killed by “scorching”.
BrightSource wants to build a second tower-based solar farm in California's Riverside County, east of Palm Springs. But the state Energy Commission in December proposed that the company instead use more conventional technologies, such as solar panels or mirrored troughs. One reason: the BrightSource system appears to be scorching birds that fly through the intense heat surrounding the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
A California utility that wants to back out of a northwest Montana wind power project is asking a federal judge to decide if the wind farm’s developers did enough to protect a nearby cluster of golden eagles.
NaturEner, which owns and operates three wind farms in Montana, sued a California utility on Friday for breaching contracts to invest in the Rim Rock wind farm. The lawsuit also seeks to prevent the utility from reneging on its contractual promise to buy the renewable energy generated at the facility.
“The committee finds that the amended project will also result in significant and unmitigable impacts to biological resources due to the risk of solar flux on avian species. The committee recommends denying the project amendment at this time, finding that the totality of the project impacts outweighs the totality of the project benefits.”
The report, which will now go through a 45-day public comment period, analyzed four alternatives, including the possibility of denying the permit application. In addition to retrofitting the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power poles, Shiloh, which is an affiliate of EDF Renewable Development, has agreed to use audio or visual deterrence measures to scare away eagles, migratory birds and bats.