Library filed under Zoning/Planning from California

Permitting setbacks for wind turbines in California

Permitting_setback_requirements_thumb The California Wind Energy Collaborative was tasked to look at barriers to new wind energy development in the state. Planning commissions in the state have developed setback standards to reduce the risk of damage or injury from fragments resulting from wind turbine rotor failures. These standards are usually based on overall turbine height. With the trend toward larger capacity, taller towers and longer blades, modern wind turbines can be "squeezed out" of parcels thus reducing the economic viability of new wind developments. Current setback standards and their development are reviewed. The rotor failure probability is discussed and public domain statistics are reviewed. The available documentation shows rotor failure probability in the 1-in-1000 per turbine per year range. The analysis of the rotor fragment throw event is discussed in simplified terms. The range of the throw is highly dependent on the release velocity, which is a function of the turbine tip speed. The tip speed of wind turbines does not tend to increase with turbine size, thus offering possible relief to setback standards. Six analyses of rotor fragment risks were reviewed. The analyses do not particularly provide guidance for setbacks. Recommendations are made to use models from previous analyses for developing setbacks with an acceptable hazard probability.
1 Nov 2006

Kern County wind industry to expand

Forests of turbines march up the foothills west of Mojave into the Tehachapi Mountains, turbines that take Valley winds and turn them into electricity. The power produced by these wind farms and their planned expansion is the basis for Southern California Edison’s proposed Antelope Transmission Line. The high-voltage electric transmission line will deliver this electricity for use elsewhere in Southern California. The proposed transmission line will help Edison meet the state-legislated requirement of 20% of its electrical power created by renewable sources and will allow for further expansion of the wind industry in eastern Kern County.
27 Oct 2006

Power, blowing in the wind

Wind turbines on the Alta-Mesa hill near Whitewater They're elegant, swooping testaments to the promise of clean energy. They're noisy, clanking blights on a once-pristine desert landscape. Opinions on the thousands of power-producing wind turbines spinning in the San Gorgonio pass are as varied as, well, the wind. But one thing is certain. Californians' growing appetite for electricity means more demand for juice from dozens of newer, bigger windmills on the way - whether the people who live beneath them like it or not.
24 Oct 2006

Plant would boost energy in Hayward

When peak demand hits, as it did during this year's sweltering July, the center would be called into action, the company said. The plant, planned to be built on Clawiter Road near PG&E's Eastshore substation, would only operate during peak demand periods, according to the company...... The Eastshore plant would use less water annually than five residences, the company said, with its engines cooled by a closed-water system. It would be built using state-of-the-art air emissions control technology.
27 Sep 2006

15,000 homes could be powered by 49 turbines on ridge near Burney

Up to 49 wind turbines could line 6½ miles of ridgeline near Burney -- and might be visible from parts of downtown Redding. If approved, the $180 million Hatchet Ridge Wind Project would harness up to 125 megawatts of electricity at the site of the 1992 Fountain Fire, seven miles west of Burney and north of Highway 299. The turbines could reach 500 feet tall.
24 Sep 2006

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

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

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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