Library filed under Impact on People from California
Growers and ranchers in the southern reaches of California are posing the latest obstacle to the state's push for green power. Facing the possibility of losing land to power transmission lines, they have urged state commissioners to avoid their property when selecting a route for a project linking consumers on the coast to renewable energy operations in the Southern California desert. ...The dispute is part of a growing conflict between farmers and utilities, as California's mandate for power providers to boost their use of renewable energy prompts new projects across the state.
Shasta County's decisions regarding the Hatchet Ridge Wind Turbine Project will have a dramatic and permanent effect on the quality of life here in the Intermountain area. The overriding problem is the proposed location. It's hard to imagine a project site that would have greater visual impact. It is difficult to visualize how enormous these monster turbines would be. Their height of 428 feet is equivalent to a 40-story building. Think of up to 68 Transamerica Pyramids, complete with flashing red lights, sitting on Hatchet Ridge! ...
Despite some changes to the route of the proposed Sunrise Powerlink, analysts at the California Public Utilities Commission have not changed their opinion about the controversial line, according to an environmental study released yesterday. The revised environmental report includes an evaluation of wind power that San Diego Gas & Electric hopes to tap in northern Baja California as well as more than a dozen changes being considered for Sunrise, a proposed $1.5 billion, 150-mile power line that would stretch from the Imperial Valley to Rancho Peñasquitos. In the end, the analysts repeated findings from the first draft of the report, namely that there are five "environmentally superior" alternatives to the SDG&E proposal, including proposals to generate power within San Diego County or to build alternate lines that would - unlike Sunrise - avoid Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
They are an environmentalist's dream but possibly a neighborhood nightmare. Clean and renewable, wind power turbines from 30 feet to 300 feet tall could pepper the Sonoma County landscape, especially at higher, visually prominent locations. ... "You're not going to ignore them," said Alexandra von Meier, associate professor of energy management and design at Sonoma State University. Von Meier said the county is speckled with prospective wind turbine sites and suggested that local governments should "make it easy" to tap the wind with whirling machines.
From the early 1980s through the early ‘90s, California was the national leader in wind energy development and power produced by wind farms. ...Are the turbines benefiting one aspect of the environment at the expense of another? Longtime Snow Creek resident Les Starks calls the wind farms "industrial slums" - claiming the windmills have displaced wildlife and degraded the quality of life for nearby residents. "There was a canyon near Whitewater Canyon that used to have thousands of bats," says Starks, "and now you don't see any." He's also noticed a decline in turkey buzzards migrating through the pass. ...With wind energy having been harnessed in the Desert for nearly three decades, the next few years will determine its future here. Presently, it accounts for just two percent of California's portfolio. That number surely will rise along with new and bigger windmills - love them or hate them.
Thanks to Supervisor Ashley, instead of the beautiful mountain view I used to see, I now look onto huge, white windmills, that rarely turn, with bright lights that flash off and on all night. These are the same windmills his planning commission, the county planning department and the developer assured us repeatedly wouldn't even be seen from Desert Hot Springs. ...I deeply resent The Desert Sun editorializing about Ashley while failing to report how little power the windmills he keeps approving generate.
From what we have been able to ascertain, many residential properties in the Victor Valley will be adversely affected by the Granite Mountain Wind Energy Project. Residents of Apple Valley, Lucerne Valley, and perhaps even some from Hesperia need to pay attention to what the Bureau of Land Management and Granite Wind LLC is building approximately six miles east of the Apple Valley town limits in our Granite Mountains (on a combination of BLM and privately owned land). ...we believe this area is asked to carry too much of the burden for the creation of alternative energy sources. We believe that the creation of this wind farm will be our "third strike" and that will cause a significant negative impact on the value of our property.
The Boulevard Planning Group submitted this protest letter to the Bureau of Land Management in response to the Bureau's proposal to open 6,900 acres of public lands within the McCain Valley area for wind energy development.
A subtle line blended into Burney’s backdrop, Hatchet Ridge could become an eye catcher if a line of 44 whirling wind turbines is put into place. To some people, however, the project could be an eyesore. “People are already talking about how ugly it is going to be,” said Sharon Elmore, cultural information officer for the Pit River Tribe. She said she’s opposed to the Hatchet Ridge Wind Project because of the effects it would have on the view from Burney and cultural sites on the ridge, as well as animals that live and pass through the regrowing forest. The power project would be built on timberland leveled in the Fountain Fire in 1992.
Hatchet Ridge Wind is both a vital clean-energy project for California and a dramatic alteration of eastern Shasta County's beautiful landscape. It is a feel-good environmental project that will help push California toward its goal of producing electricity with fewer fossil fuels. It is also a massive industrial project that will forever alter one of the prettiest landscapes in the north state. With several dozen towers and turbines reaching up to 418 feet tall, the network would dramatically change the views from the Intermountain area and Highway 299. It would also, according to the recently released environmental studies, take an unavoidable toll on migrating birds including eagles (yep, them again) and sandhill cranes.
"Their bird studies were like trying to determine how many kids would go to a school by driving by during Easter vacation," she said. Taaffe named the California condor, long-eared owl, horned lark, and golden eagle as species at risk. "The blades move at 200 miles per hour at the tip ... Each blade is replaced within a second. That's not terribly slow." At the DEIR hearing, Audubon California board of directors member Steve Ferry asserted that bird surveys were conducted on only five days and during the afternoon, when birds are least likely to be present. He said the draft neglected mitigation measures such as radar, which could track avian traffic and shut down turbines as needed. "We know birds will be killed," Drude acknowledged of the biological impacts.
Joyce Manley, who lives in the Painted Hills neighborhood near Desert Hot Springs, Calif., has been fighting nearby wind turbine projects for six years. ‘It’s like having a disco going all night long,’ she says.
A wind farm towers over residential properties in the desert.
Elliott said the threat that the two proposed mega windmills -- which would be more than 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty -- pose to his home and family was dramatically demonstrated in 2002, when an existing shorter windmill malfunctioned and caught fire.