Library filed under General from California
17 News reported last month that California's biggest wind farm is planning to take root in Kern County. The plan passed the Kern County Planning Commission, and Tuesday night, the Kern County Board of Supervisors weighed the good economic news with an earful of complaints from Tehachapi residents. It was an initial three hour debate over 300 wind turbines, and it will take longer before a decision is made.
A proposal to build a dozen wind turbines, part of a larger project to build as many as 100 in East County, has been denied by the Boulevard planning group. The planning group voted 5-0 last week to reject the wind project, with residents saying they felt it would hurt their property values while providing no benefits to the high desert community. Iberdrola Renewables wants to build turbines that would produce 200 megawatts of electricity.
Six California renewable energy facilities proposed by AES Corp. (AES), FPL Group Inc. (FPL), BrightSource Energy Inc. and Germany's Solar Millennium (S2M.XE) are being fast-tracked for government permits needed to start construction, a federal official said Thursday. Together, the renewable power plants would generate nearly 2,500 megawatts of electricity, and occupy more than 28,000 acres of land, said U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. ...To be eligible for federal stimulus funds renewable energy developers must begin construction by December 2010.
Fifteen years have passed since the historic California Desert Protection Act set aside millions of unspoiled acres as wilderness, elevated Joshua Tree and Death Valley to national park status and created the Mojave National Preserve. The legislation was the largest land conservation bill in the continental United States, hailed for its safekeeping of a long-ignored 6.37 million acres of landscape that counts "singing" sand dunes, volcanic cinder cones and world-class climbing boulders among its attractions. ...Now, proposals are pending for desert landfills, airports, housing developments, renewable energy projects and water harvesting, pushing a new generation to find ways to balance such pressures with the need for open space.
An energy company filed a permit application Friday with San Diego County to develop a wind farm near the community of Boulevard. Iberdrola Renewables said its proposed Tule Wind Power project includes 12 wind turbines, access roads, and a 138-kV transmission line on 1,600 acres of private land near Boulevard in East San Diego County.
A Lompoc couple's attempt to impede an alternative energy project has been denied by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. The board unanimously denied an appeal Sept. 22 that took issue with temporary meteorological towers that are part of a renewable wind-energy project southwest of Lompoc.
A possible second major wind power project for eastern Shasta County is at least a year away from being proposed, but the Southern California company behind it is building temporary towers to check wind patterns in the area. Padoma Wind Power of La Jolla doesn't have plans to build wind power towers yet but is testing the potential for such a project, said spokesman David Knox.
The announcement ended a long-running dispute between backers of renewable energy and environmentalists ...The acrimony even triggered a nasty public squabble between Robert Kennedy Jr., a senior adviser at VantagePoint Venture Partners, which raised $160 million for BrightSource, and David Myers, executive director of the Wildlands Conservancy, which raised $40 million to buy the railroad lands and protect them from development.
A business venture led by a friend and advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outmaneuvered the city last year to buy land in Kern County that the Department of Water and Power wanted for a wind farm. The purchase of Onyx Ranch, which covers nearly 68,000 acres east of Bakersfield, highlights the dual roles played by J. Ari Swiller, an entrepreneur whose field, renewable energy, has received a significant boost from the mayor's pledge to make Los Angeles "the greenest big city in America."
Shell Wind Energy's proposed wind turbine project for Bear River Ridge may be moving forward. Humboldt County Community Services Director Kirk Girard is recommending at Tuesday's meeting that the supervisors authorize hiring a consultant to prepare an environmental review. The company's project proposes installing about 30 wind turbines roughly six miles south of Ferndale.
Plans to build new wind generators stretching nearly 500 feet tall in unincorporated Kern County near Tehachapi are in the works, according to a report released by the county. A Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) outlines the proposed project, known as the Alta-Oak Creek Mojave Project, which would be constructed along approximately 9,300 acres near the Tehachapi-Mojave border. The Kern Count Planning commission is holding a public hearing to receive comments on the report on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.
Despite the hoopla over renewable energy - media chatter, government rebates, neighbors who "go green" - the nuts and bolts of installing more Earth-friendly power sources often get stuck. San Diego County, for example, is wrestling with how to handle applications for using residential wind turbines. Critics say the approval process is confusing and drawn-out enough to discourage investment in green power, just as companies are moving to fill the home-windmill niche.
A recent National Academy of Sciences study predicts that significant scientific advances and changes in electricity generation, transmission and use are needed before the United States will be able to produce 50 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources. Four Siskiyou County residents involved with renewable energy and sustainability were asked to comment on the report. Without exception, they criticized the report as ignoring conservation, and they voiced support for localized renewable energy sources.
One controversial power line project through the north state has been halted, but state agencies, municipal utilities and power companies are studying other potential new north state lines. Examining how to connect the state to developing renewable power, the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) recently released a report that shows a potential new power transmission line running from the Oregon border through Shasta, Siskiyou and Tehama counties and south to Tracy.
San Diego Gas & Electric Co. says it plans to build a substation in the southeast corner of the county that will allow it to increase its use of wind and solar power. The substation, to be built near Jacumba, will take electricity from wind projects in the mountains of East County and northern Baja California and put it onto the Southwest Powerlink.
Wind turbines may become part of the landscape among the high powered antennas out at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in the future, but the project is on hold for now. Military officials are conducting tests due to concerns that the wind turbines may interfere with military activity in the area, according to Dennis Mullen, energy conservation manager at Goldstone.
Wind turbines should be producing power atop Hatchet Ridge overlooking Burney early next summer. Initially, the 44 planned turbines had been scheduled to start spinning by the end of the year, but an overhaul of the company planning the project has delayed it for six months, said George Hardie, senior developer for Pattern Energy Group.
The plan to build a 600 miles high-voltage power line across Northern California is officially dead, the agency behind the project concluded early Wednesday. The $1.5 billion project had been proposed to move electricity from future wind, solar and geothermal projects in Lassen County to power customers in urban areas.
A number of meteorological towers, designed to collect wind and weather conditions, dot Lassen County and Northeastern California, but the United States Bureau of Land Management has not yet moved any proposed wind turbine projects forward. Jeff Fontana, a public information officer for the BLM, said a plan of development from Invenergy was returned to the developer after the federal agency requested modifications.
The biggest backer of a proposed high-voltage power line through Northern California may have abandoned the project, putting its future in doubt, but the fight hasn't left power line opponents, who marched and rallied Wednesday in Redding. Nearly 200 green-shirted "Stop TANC" activists filled a Holiday Inn ballroom, where they heard reports from power line opponents who had traveled from as far as Davis.