Articles from California
Bedford and his wife, Cheryl, purchased more than 400 acres of land on top of one of the hills surrounding San Miguelito Canyon in the early 1990s. With the land previously untouched, they had to build a private road leading up to their home, which sits at roughly 1,700 feet in elevation, before beginning construction.
After an emotional, hours-long dialogue, the supervisors stopped short of approving the company’s proposal in a 2-3 decision, before voting again to officially deny the project. In the initial vote, supervisors Virginia Bass and Rex Bohn voted to move the project forward. In the 4-1 final vote, Bass switched sides to join the majority.
In an ironic twist, the rapid growth of solar power is one of the reasons energy regulators say it’s too soon to retire the four coastal gas plants. Growing amounts of California’s electricity are supplied by solar farms — sometimes 50% or more on spring afternoons, when sunshine is abundant and electricity demand is low. But all that solar generation drops off sharply each evening, at which point natural gas plants typically fire up to fill the gap.
The Terra-Gen wind energy project received a denial from the Humboldt County Planning Commission on Thursday, concluding an emotional series of meetings in which the commission appeared to be veering toward approval before swinging the other way.
Strauss Wind Energy proposes up to 30 towers on nearly 3,000 acres south of the city
Once again, the Supervisors Chamber was packed with people standing in the aisles. About 40 people who could not fit into the crowded room stood outside in the hallway, and another 50 or so people filled a conference room down the hall, where the proceeds of the meeting were piped in. People in the hallway yelled en masse, “We want in!” and “We can’t hear you!,” and despite Chair Robert Morris' admonitions, frequently applauded — and occasionally booed — speakers.
Habitat will be lost. Recreational opportunities will be lost. Migratory birds including bald eagles, golden eagles, osprey and also bats will be killed. Important wildlife migratory corridors for deer, bear, mountain lion, neo-tropical birds, and bald eagles will be disrupted. And, our public safety will be threatened. Wind turbines cause fires and Walker Ridge is in high and extreme fire zones. Are we really going to construct a new fire threat in these conditions? Have we forgotten the Pawnee Fire or the Mendocino Ranch Fire that both burned on Walker Ridge?
There has been much confusion and misinformation regarding both the PG&E power outages and Humboldt County’s current ability (or lack thereof) to be an energy island, resilient, and independent from the larger grid in California. The energy we presently get from the grid comes from the east, across the rugged coast ranges all the way from the Central Valley. The proposed Terra-Gen Bear River (Tsakiyuwit)/Monument Ridge wind energy project is just more of the same — a centralized grid-tied energy project that will be dependent on PG&E’s fire-prone transmission lines.
As the controversial Terra-Gen wind energy project reached the Humboldt County Planning Commission table on Thursday for the first of a two-part public hearing, its numerous critics came out in full force, chorusing the project’s potential negative impacts as they filled the commission’s meeting chamber to the brim.
Federal judges today dismissed a challenge to a large wind farm near San Diego, rejecting claims that agencies did not adequately weigh potential impacts on bald eagles and other birds. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Land Management conducted the legally required “hard look” at alternatives before approving the Tule Wind LLC project.
Board Chairman and 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino asked what the scale of such a solar project might be to power the approximately 150,000 households in the county. An Optony spokesman said a 1-acre solar array could power 60 to 100 homes, so it would require a total of 1,500 acres of solar panels scattered throughout the county to power all the county’s homes.
How dispiriting to read that officials at Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) have fallen hook, line and turbine for a deeply flawed energy proposal. Like many outside colonizers since 1850, a Manhattan energy company, Terra-Gen, is relying on local officials to support its plan to place up to 60 wind turbines, each standing 600 feet tall, on Monument and Bear River ridges. The RCEA's Michael Winkler, in a June 27 op-ed in the Journal ("Why I Support Terra-Gen's Wind Project"), epitomized this colonial mindset.
The Strauss Wind Energy Project — put forward by BayWa, a German agricultural and renewable energy company — calls for the construction of 30 turbine generators 500 feet tall across 2,790 acres of rural land in an unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County. ...More than 600 mature oak trees would be chopped down to make room for the infrastructure and to build the roads needed to transport three 35,000-pound blades to each turbine location.
An “avian incident” sparked a fire at one of California’s biggest solar farms, affecting 1,200 acres and knocking out 84% of the California Valley Solar Ranch’s generating capacity.
About 5:50 p.m., Palm Springs police said that 19th Avenue between McLane Street and Karen Drive was closed because a windmill was spinning out of control.
A federal appeals court yesterday rejected a challenge from environmental groups to a large wind farm project east of San Diego.
For years developers have tried to figure out how to repurpose Kaiser Steel’s former open-pit iron mine at Eagle Mountain in Riverside County. One idea: Use it as a massive landfill, a proposal that fortunately never came to fruition. The current owners of the site now want to convert it into an immense, $2.5-billion hydroelectric battery, using daytime power to pump water from a lower-elevation pit to a pit 1,400 feet farther up the mountain, then running the water downhill at night through turbines to create energy.
With the deadline to comment on the draft environmental impact report fast approaching, debate over a proposed wind farm on a ridgeline to the south of the Eel River Valley is heating up.
Before Humboldt County begins investing in offshore wind energy, local conservationists and fishermen say more research needs to be done to assess the projects’ local impacts. That was the consensus today at a meeting of the state Senate’s Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, hosted by committee chairman North Coast state Sen. Mike McGuire at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center in Eureka.