Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from California

Don Quixote fights the windmills - and so do the folks in Boulevard

Should wind turbines hundreds of feet tall -higher than the existing Kumeyaay wind farm turbines- be allowed in the rural McCain Valley/Boulevard region in East County? Does the nation's critical need for "green" energy outweigh the concerns of residents seeking to preserve the rural character of their backcountry communities? With new industrial-scale wind farms proposed across America, East County Magazine's Gayle Early set out on a quest to explore these issues in depth for our three-part series on wind energy.
1 Feb 2009

Block Energy's Path: Effort high to keep power lines out of virgin desert

In March 2007, April Sall, the conservationist overseeing the Pipes Canyon Preserve in the San Bernardino County desert, got a call from an employee at the federal Bureau of Land Management. The caller wondered if Sall knew of a plan to run 85 miles of electrical transmission lines through the Morongo Basin, on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, and through parts of the 20,000-acre private preserve northeast of Yucca Valley.
23 Dec 2008

State commission approves Sunrise Powerlink project - opponents set to appeal

The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday cleared the way for construction of the Sunrise Powerlink, a contentious transmission line that promises to bring more reliable and renewable power from the Imperial Valley to San Diego. The 4-1 vote allows San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to move forward with the 123-mile, $1.9 billion power-line project, which could deliver enough electricity to serve 650,000 households.
19 Dec 2008

Residents protest 'green' power lines; Many claim towers spoil natural beauty

The towers are visible from the back of Milligan's Cavi at The Big Oaks, but he says it's not those power lines that concern him. The restaurateur is bothered by the lines that Southern California Edison will soon install midway down the slope in Bouquet Canyon as part of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project. The towers would dominate the view from Milligan's backyard bar and grill and he believes they would spoil Bouquet Canyon's rare natural environment.
24 Nov 2008

Florida's broken windmills: A California problem

The permit allowing windmills to go in didn't say they could sit there broken. Palm Springs is getting tough. If windmills are going to exist in the city they must be operational. A city that has welcomed windmills since it was first approached about them in the early 1980's is finding that many of those windmills are no longer working and it wants them fixed. The question is who's responsible for fixing them? Florida Power and Light (FPL), the owner of the inoperable windmills, was allowed to install and operate local windmill farms under a conditional use permit (CUP) stipulating if the windmill does not run for six months, it's declared a public nuisance and without a hearing, must be abated. ...So far FPL is all talk and no action as it has not been able to satisfy the city's or landowners' concerns.
28 Oct 2008

Battle heats up over future wind farms in East County

Residents in the East County are sounding an environmental alert about future wind farms in their community. The battle is heating up over plans to build hundreds of wind turbines near Boulevard. ..."And we're talking over 500 to 600 turbines for now, over 400-feet tall silhouetted on that ridge line," she said. That ridgeline to the south is in Mexico, where Sempra Energy - the parent company of SDG&E - Is planning on building a massive wind farm. So big, in fact, it will be visible from San Diego County.
14 Oct 2008

Property Owners Fighting New Wind Farms In East County

"Our little community is under such an assault from all these wind energy corporations," Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale said. Tisdale is one of the property owners who was approached by a wind farm company called Invenergy. She says Invenergy offered her more than $20,000 per year for the rights to build wind turbines on her property - this on land that is not zoned for a wind farm.
29 Sep 2008

Renewable energy plan riles Calif. farmers; Power lines would entail land-taking

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.
3 Sep 2008

Proposal to harness wind power off Mendocino coast worries fishing industry

Wind power off California's coast is now just a thought among power developers, and there are no concrete plans to erect turbines at sea. But optimism is fueled by NASA and university studies indicating wind over waters off picturesque Cape Mendocino is strong and consistent enough to become one of the nation's best sources of electricity. Offshore wind and wave technologies are promising, but they're untried. They also raise concerns about potential damage to the coast's prized vistas and fish industry.
11 Aug 2008

Department of Power should use existing lines and find alternative energy solutions

LADWP claims that these transmission lines are necessary to bring renewable energy into the urban city to "diversify their energy portfolio." Development of renewable energy resources including geothermal, solar and wind, should be our highest priority to replace fossil fuels. However, for LADWP to destroy pristine desert and conservation lands in the process, including condemnation of private property, is not a "green" way to go about it. I further disagree that LADWP needs to own its own transmission lines, when there are existing corridors that were established through years of focus and study and could be the shared with other utilities.
28 Jul 2008

Massive wind project seeks county OK

Several thousand acres of desert scrub land west of Rosamond may eventually be dotted with massive wind turbines if Kern County Supervisors support the project Tuesday afternoon. The PdV Wind Energy Project, proposed by enXco, would use 5,820 acres to generate electricity for Southern California Edison. ...Between 100 to 300 turbines would be placed, and construction would be phased.
25 Jul 2008

Fight is on to preserve Burney's beautiful skyline

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! ...
23 Jul 2008

Burying transmission lines of LA utility's proposed geothermal power project met with some skepticism

The California Desert Coalition, which formed to oppose the proposal, took out a newspaper ad that urged residents to wear red to display their anger. Many did so, wearing red shirts, hats, scarves, and even tiny rubber bands to hold back their hair. They said they weren't against a quest for renewable energy but wanted it done without harm to their homes and the environment they hold dear. "We have a lot to protect here; we have a lot to fight for," said April Sall, a coalition leader. Russell Betts, a Desert Hot Springs city councilman, said one transmission route would economically harm the town by slicing through a proposed commercial zone. He suggested that Los Angeles officials are expecting desert residents to "absorb the cost of their operation."
19 Jul 2008

Burying transmission lines of LA utility's proposed geothermal power project met with some skepticism

The California Desert Coalition, which formed to oppose the proposal, took out a newspaper ad that urged residents to wear red to display their anger. Many did so, wearing red shirts, hats, scarves, and even tiny rubber bands to hold back their hair. They said they weren't against a quest for renewable energy but wanted it done without harm to their homes and the environment they hold dear. "We have a lot to protect here; we have a lot to fight for," said April Sall, a coalition leader. Russell Betts, a Desert Hot Springs city councilman, said one transmission route would economically harm the town by slicing through a proposed commercial zone. He suggested that Los Angeles officials are expecting desert residents to "absorb the cost of their operation."
19 Jul 2008

No change in PUC's position on Powerlink; Report repeats earlier findings

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.
12 Jul 2008

Utility finds foes to renewable energy line plan

It seems like an idea any environmentalist would embrace: Build one of the world's largest solar power operations in the Southern California desert and surround it with plants that run on wind and underground heat. Yet San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and its potential partners face fierce opposition because the plan also calls for a 150-mile, high-voltage transmission line that would cut through pristine parkland to reach the nation's eighth-largest city. The showdown over how to get renewable energy to consumers will likely play out elsewhere around the country as well, as state regulators require electric utilities to rely less on coal and natural gas to fire their plants -- the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S.
15 Jun 2008

Renewable energy projects meet opposition from environmentalists

A rush to build environmentally friendly renewable energy in the windy, sunny Inland region has stirred up some unlikely foes: environmentalists. They say the projects mean new transmission lines and towers across some of the very mountains and desert vistas people have fought to protect. ...It's not just environmentalists who are objecting. A Riverside County supervisor said he opposes plans to erect 400-foot-tall wind turbines for the first time on the 4,000-foot elevation of Mount San Jacinto, near Palm Springs. And a San Bernardino County supervisor has strongly urged Los Angeles to abandon plans to string new transmission lines to carry renewable energy through the Morongo Basin east of Joshua Tree National Park.
2 Jun 2008

Energy needs vs. landscape; Giant turbines may be great for environment but not for neighborhood

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.
27 May 2008

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=California&p=7&topic=Impact+on+Landscape&type=Article
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