Library from California
Spanish developer NaturEner is denying fraud allegations by California offtaker San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in a legal dispute over the 189MW Rim Rock wind farm in Montana. The utility claims NaturEner fraudulently concealed that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recommended the developer get an eagle take permit for the project.
State Senator Ben Hueso has taken heed of his constituents’ complaints about flashing red lights on wind turbines shining into people’s homes at night. In a February 10, 2014 letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Hueso wrote that flashing red lights on over 100 turbines, each taller than a 40 story building, are harmful to the health of Ocotillo residents.
The turbines at Iberdrola’s Locust Ridge project were made by Gamesa, Gamesa has had numerous wind turbine fires, including the turbine fire at the Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo, as ECM reported. Our story also recounted Gamesa’s troubled history of wind turbine fires elsewhere.
SDG&E has said in court documents that the project could still kill, displace or disturb eagles. The utility says NaturEner concealed that possibility until last December, when it turned over documents revealing the birds were at risk.
Opponents of the Tule Wind project in McCain Valley will have their day in court on Monday, March 3 in San Diego’s U.S. District Court. Then on April 25, a separate suit against the County over its wind energy ordinance and general plan amendment will also be heard.The suits were filed by the Protect Our Communities Foundation and Donna Tisdale.
Infigen takes down their scorched Kumeyaay Wind turbine following a December 16, 2013 fire which sparked a brush fire on the land leased from the Campo tribe. The 25 Gamesa 1.5 MW turbines were first installed in late 2005 and suffered a still unexplained catastrophic failure during a storm in December 2009 which resulted in all 75 blades and generators being replaced in early 2010. An Infigen v Gamesa lawsuit was settled last year. The Gamesa turbine that burst into flames in December was about 4 years old. These photos show the burning turbine and its dismantling. Note the proximity of homes.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs has formally terminated the final Environmental Impact Statement for Shu’luuk Wind on the Campo Indian reservation in East County. The move comes after the Campo tribe’s General Council turned down the project and cancelled the tribe’s contract with Invenergy.
It's official: a wind power project that would have generated up to 250 megawatts of power with as many as 85 turbines in the San Diego County backcountry is off the table.
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”.
A state inventory of California’ rarest animals, birds and plants reveals that Golden Eagle populations have suffered a precipitous decline statewide, including here in San Diego County. Statewide, only 141 element occurrences (eagle nests and foraging habitat) are listed in all of California. Locally, the inventory lists just 14 “occurrences” countywide—with only one (probably abandoned) nest remaining in East County.
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.
Wyoming residents enjoy the cheapest electricity prices in the nation, thanks to low-cost power from coal-fired plants near vast surface mines in the Powder River Basin. California, which has all but phased out coal power and has the nation's most aggressive renewable energy laws, has close to the highest prices, according to U.S. Energy Department data.
Gilbert's order does not appear to prevent SDG&E from backing out of a separate 2012 contract in which it pledged to invest $285 million in the project. But after NaturEner filed its own suit in Montana, Gilbert on Monday ordered SDG&E to continue making payments to NaturEner until attorneys for the two sides appear in her court.
This history of golden eagle nesting failures located near wind turbines in CA is never clearly stated, but the evidence is there for anyone that wishes to read about it. Some of this impact is revealed in the last Environmental Impact documents submitted for the expansion of the Shiloh wind turbines project in California's Montezuma Hills Wind Resource Area.
SDG&E alleges that NaturEner misrepresented the risks of the wind farm to birds in order to secure financing for the project and did not meet conditions set forth in the contract related to avian protection.
"Nobody's going to break ground on any big new solar projects right now — utilities want to see how farms coming online this year fit into the grid, and developers are waiting for more certainty about state policies and federal tax credits." Utilities had been willing to pay more because many states require them to derive a significant percentage of their power from renewables, but now utilities are on track to meet those requirements, giving them less incentive to buy higher-priced solar energy.
“The BIA’s decision is reckless and shows outrageous disregard for the high fire risk we all face in San Diego County,” said Donna Tisdale, POC’s Secretary. “The fire district that Iberdrola contracted has no air tankers or helicopters of its own, but must hope and pray that mutual aid fire agencies can spare them.”
“We support the Justice Department’s vigilance in prosecuting Bittner for his serious transgressions and unlawful behavior,” said Tisdale, who has long contended that there are eagles in areas slated for wind turbines, where Bittner claims there are none. ““When unethical and basically corrupt experts like Bittner side with industry over avian protection,” Tisdale concluded, “our beautiful birds literally get clobbered with the blunt end of the turbine blade.”
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.
If the 40 turbines in the first phase turn out not to yield important reductions in bird deaths, especially for golden eagles, the county should reduce the numbers of turbines allowed for Ogin in the remainder of the Altamont. He suggested an 80 percent reduction from the 320 or so old turbines, instead of the approximately 1:1 ratio now in the wings for Sand Hill.