Library filed under Impact on Views from California
It was a huge moment in the fight against climate change. The Biden administration announced this week that it would open more than 250,000 acres of ocean water off California’s Central Coast to wind energy development.
Several years of wind energy boom in the mountains east of Tehachapi and the desert around Mojave drew the ire of locals as hundreds of the massive machines were installed in stately rows along ridgelines and across the desert. One major complaint was the red lights shining from the top of the towers -- lights powerful enough, critics said, to drown out the stars.
The Shiloh Wind Power Plant located in the Montezuma Hills of Solano County, California, USA, very near Bird's Landing. The site, located 40 miles northeast of San Francisco, has a nameplate capacity of 505 megawatts (MW). It was constructed in 4 stages (Shiloh I, II, III and IV) between 2005 and 2012.
Don't count Donald Trump among fans of wind power. On Monday, the developer and "Apprentice" host went on the record - Twitter - with his thoughts about the wind turbines that line the roads leading to Palm Springs. "Ugly wind turbines have destroyed the entrance to Palm Springs, CA," he tweeted. "These mon[s]trosities are ruining landscapes all over the globe-expensive & bad electric."
This composite image shows the relative size of the older turbines at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area and those replacing them. The smaller turbines are the Windmatic 65 kilowatt machines that stand 84 feet tall on four-leg lattice towers. The blade length is 7 meters. The larger towers are Mitsubishi 1 megawatt turbines installed in the Buena vista section of Altamont with blade lengths of 31 meters.
Just days after a group of Tehachapi residents celebrated the collapse of a large windmill project, another group contacted 17 News about another wind project in the works. They say the windmills will destroy the natural beauty of their neighborhood.
The push to fast-track renewable energy projects in America has led to some missteps along the way, Marcilynn Burke, deputy director for Programs and Policies with the Bureau of Land Management, said Wednesday ...One installation, the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, led to litigation.
Hatchet Ridge wind project as seen from Burney on July 23. Workers finished erecting the 44th and final turbine in the Hatchet Ridge wind project this week. Ralph Boggs thinks the 6½-mile line of massive wind turbines over Burney looks even worse than he had imagined.
In a case that tested the bounds of wind power's expansion, the California Coastal Commission last week denied a bid by a Santa Cruz County couple to install a wind turbine in a residential neighborhood. Voting 8 to 3 against the proposal, commissioners expressed concern that energy won from a 35-foot-high windmill might not be worth the visual jolt the project would have on the quaint Pleasure Point area as well as harm the spinning blades could have on seabirds.
The regulatory agency has told a Santa Cruz County couple that a wind turbine planned for their new home in the Pleasure Point neighborhood is too tall. Suggesting it would add to the area's "visual clutter," the commission recommends the residents lower their proposed 35-foot-high, electricity-generating windmill, an idea the home's architect says is simply unworkable.
Stanford research team has concluded that the ocean not far off the Northern California coastline is the most promising spot for an offshore wind farm to generate power. Specifically, the researchers concluded that the sea off Cape Mendocino, roughly 150 miles northwest of San Francisco, was their top pick. Wind turbines there could supply 5 percent of California's electrical power needs, they projected. ...Most of the Southern California coast isn't windy in the summer, so it, too, was scratched from the list. That left the sea off Cape Mendocino, north of San Francisco. ...No doubt that wouldn't sit well with some folks who appreciate their pristine Pacific views today, the researchers acknowledged in a statement.
Click on the links below to see and hear wind turbines in motion.Editor's Note: A note of caution. These clips are more valuable visually than as an accurate representation of turbine noise. The background noise in the first two videos is undoubtedly due, in part, to wind noise on the video camera's microphone. In the third video the background noise is, in part, road and radio noise. More sophisticated acoustical equipment is required to properly capture the sound of the operating turbines.