Calling it "our baby," the panel overseeing the Department of Water and Power moved forward Tuesday with the Pine Tree Wind Project, approving a pair of environmental and construction deals related to the $278 million initiative.p The venture has been held up as an example of both the promise and peril associated with the growing use of "green power," which is one of the top priorities of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's new Board of Water and Power Commissioners.
Articles from California
The 5,000 windmills that dot the slopes of Northern California's Altamont Pass are drawing fire from environmental groups who say pollution-free power isn't worth the price of killing thousands of birds.
..because the turbines produce power in response to the wind rather than actual demand, much of it -- 84% of western Denmark's wind production in 2003, by one analysis -- has to be exported (i.e., dumped) because it is not needed. Despite a landscape already saturated with turbines, it appears therefore that they produce only about 3% of the electricity Denmark uses.
With California's energy crisis in the headlines, advocates of wind power are hoping it will mean a major boost for this source of clean, alternative energy. But they face a previously underappreciated problem: bugs.
The commission unanimously voted down the proposal after a five-hour hearing attended by more than 150 people at Santa Clarita City Hall. Zond Systems, the largest producer of wind energy in California, had hoped to erect more than 300 windmills--some as tall as 150 feet--on vacant, mountainous land near Gorman.