Articles filed under General from California

Board Wants More Comment Time for Power Line Project

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a request Tuesday to the California Public Utilities Commission for a 60-day extension of a comment period regarding a Southern California Edison power line project in the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. Edison's project would construct additional high-power transmission lines and towers from the Antelope Valley to the Pardee power station in Santa Clarita. The power provider has proposed a 500 kilovolt transmission line from Tehachapi to its Antelope substation. The second-stage, 25.6-mile segment would stretch to Santa Clarita from the Antelope Valley.....Alis Clausen, Edison's northern region manager, said the project was part of a Utilities Commission request to Edison to find a way of sending wind energy from Kern County into the electric grid.
15 Sep 2006

County considers plan for windmills - Approval expected for scaled-back contract in order to monitor impact on birds

After balking at a $3 million plan to monitor the impact of the Altamont windmills on scores of birds -- including protected species such as golden eagles, red tail hawks and burrowing owls -- the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a down-sized monitoring plan today. The proposed $600,000 contract, scaled back from a monitoring system proposed in July, calls for 6,000 hours of monitoring in a six-month period and is expected to be only the initial phase in a longer study. The previous plan called for more than 12,000 hours. According to a study released in 2004 by the California Energy Commission, an estimated 1,700 to 4,700 birds die each year by flying into whirring turbine blades or being electrocuted by transmission lines that thread through the 50,000-acre Altamont Wind Resource Area.
14 Sep 2006

Turning to wind for power

"Wind is more an intermittent energy supply," said Amy Morgan, a spokeswoman for the California Energy Commission, which certifies solar and wind systems that are eligible for state tax credits. Morgan said only about 2 percent of the applicants asking for tax credits are using wind energy. Most are choosing solar.
10 Sep 2006

Wind Generation's Performance during the July 2006 California Heat Storm

So what happened in California during the mid-July heat storm when that electric grid was put to the test, and California avoided rolling blackouts amid a Level 1 Emergency in which Californian’s were asked to raise their thermostats to 77 and many manufactures and business voluntarily shutdown? By most people’s analysis, wind’s performance was disappointing. Specifically during this period of peak demand, statewide wind often operated at only 5% of capacity, or less.
9 Sep 2006

Best 'fix' is a veto - Emissions bill solves nothing, adds headaches

At this writing, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez and other lawmakers are haggling over the final details of AB 32, a sweeping measure meant to establish California as the world leader in reducing the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Schwarzenegger wants not just hard caps on emissions but a market-based system in which incentives are created for businesses to reduce emissions through trading of pollution credits. Núñez is lukewarm on such a “cap and trade” system. Here's our recommendation to the governor: Quit negotiating and simply veto whatever measure comes your way.
30 Aug 2006

Climate bill puts governor on hot seat

SACRAMENTO - An ambitious proposal that would make California a leader in the fight against global warming has emerged as one of the most hotly contested measures in the Legislature this year, and a key environmental test for Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his bid for a second term. Supporters of the legislation, which would mandate reducing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide by 25 percent by the year 2020, say it could spur a wave of clean-energy technologies and create a nationwide model for combating climate change. Business groups have waged a lobbying campaign against it, arguing it would boost energy costs and make the state less hospitable to companies.
27 Aug 2006

Wind-borne aspirations - Rancho Palos Verdes man weathers obstacles to market alternative energy generator

But the cylindrical turbine hardly resembled fanlike conventional ones. "Everybody expects it to have propellers," the 52-year-old Watkins said. "People don't recognize it." It not only looked different on the outside, but also on the inside. It lacked the gears that many traditional wind turbines have, he said. Watkins' design transformed the energy from the spinning blades directly into electricity.
21 Aug 2006

Why the Lights Go Out in California

The state's electricity transmission and distribution system is antiquated and dilapidated. A recent Department of Energy study cited Southern California as one of two U.S. regions (New York is the other) facing critical shortages of power lines. Grid under-capacity in the Bay Area is severe. A member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission called the transmission bottleneck between Northern and Southern California "the worst electric supply situation in the entire country."
21 Aug 2006

Public to get peek at wind farm project

The visibility of wind turbines, which in this case will be up to 490 feet high from the top of the blade to the ground is a common problem, and bird deaths are another potential drawback, Day said. Bird deaths were common in the Altamont Pass, near the Bay Area, but this project is different, he said. These turbines will not be visible from Lompoc and to people looking across the Valley from Vandenberg Village, they will look like toothpicks, Stahl said.
16 Jul 2006
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