Articles filed under General from California
Under the new rule approved 5-0, the county can allow exceptions if the variance doesn't endanger public safety, and if the exception increases power generating capacity or reduces risks that hawks and eagles would be hit by whirling turbine blades.
The winds of change are blowing toward Contra Costa County regulation of new wind turbines, and county officials want to make sure the big energy machines don't create a safety risk to motorists driving by them on a busy commute route south of Byron.
First Wind missed the deadline, citing its inability to secure land for the wind project. First Wind, which is not an official party in the case before the PUC, asked HECO to petition the commission for a deadline extension on its behalf. When HECO declined, First Wind appealed directly to the PUC.
"We want to know what your concerns are in this very early stage of design," Smith said. "We don't want it," canyon resident Steve Steele said. "Put one in your backyard first and then you can put one in mine." ...Residents expressed concerns including access, safety, wildfire potential, noise, and impact on the environment and wildlife as well as their property values.
The larger change is the addition of a minimum required setback for noise mitigation. Turbines with a maximum generation capacity equal to or greater than one megawatt would be required to maintain a 3,000-foot minimum setback from the nearest receptor (person living within visual or audible range) or residential parcel. The exception: if the noise study shows to the Commission’s satisfaction minimal noise impacts to residents, the CCC may approve a reduced setback.
The first wind project in the works for Imperial Valley took a step forward last week, though some residents were not happy with a county commission's decision. The Airport Land Use Commission found the Ocotillo Express wind project to be consistent with the county's airport compatibility plan Wednesday, said commission chairman Larry Allen. It was a unanimous vote.
"In short, although the project would contribute to the California renewable generation goals, given the availability of other lower-priced renewable projects in the competitive market that could impose far less risks on ratepayers, PG&E has failed to demonstrate a need for this project."
Shasta County isn't known for its wind.
The first - and possibly only - wind farm in Imperial County went in front of the public Wednesday and faces potential criticism from Ocotillo residents tonight.
Permits for the three-year test project were routinely issued by the Marin County Deputy Zoning Administrator on Aug. 26. And a gale of protest promptly erupted. A group of nine people, including leaders of the Marin Audubon Society, the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin and the Marin Conservation League, quickly appealed to the Marin County Planning Commission to rescind the permits.
The Indian Wells City Council has unanimously approved an urgency ordinance that establishes a moratorium on roof-mounted wind turbines for homes and businesses. The moratorium is expected to allow time for city staff to research federal and state laws and find out if there are any issues for the city, such as health and environmental risks.
Two ridgetop windmill research towers will rise north of Dillon Beach following a green light from county supervisors. The county board voted 4-0 to reject an recommendation from the Planning Commission that more study be conducted to determine whether the facilities could trigger a bird slaughter.
Thousands of decades-old wind turbines in Altamont Pass will be replaced with new ones that produce more power and kill fewer migratory birds . ...Under terms of the settlement, 2,400 turbines on the hills of the Altamont Pass operated by NextEra will be replaced in the next four years or shut down completely by Nov. 1, 2015.
Victoria Brandon of the Sierra Club Lake Group said some of the problems with the project are impacts to bats, birds and rare plants along with grading of the road on serpentine soil. "It's almost a wild area," Brandon said. "If you turn it into an industrial site it could permanently change the character."
Is wind power a viable alternative to low-cost fossil fuels? Consider this: relying on windmills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions not only is expensive and ironically harmful to the environment, it won't accomplish its main goal. ...The inefficient "cycling" of generators made to run continuously creates more emissions than running constantly.
In California's effort to marshal a symphony of energy resources, the Northwest is the designated woodwind.
Wind-energy optimism blowing in southern California belies an uncharacteristically weak and bleak short-term outlook for US wind power. Despite a banner year in 2009, the wind-energy industry now faces a nasty triple threat: sagging power demand, falling electricity prices, and low natural gas prices. What those three add up to is suddenly weak demand for wind power.
It's being called the largest wind power project in the country, with plans for thousands of acres of towering turbines in the Mojave Desert foothills generating electricity for 600,000 homes in Southern California.
A Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas announced today it has received a record setting order for what will become one of the largest wind power plants in the United States.
After financing problems delayed a Montana wind farm that San Diego Gas & Electric needs to meet state green-energy goals, the utility decided to step in a big way — it is planning to spend $600 million to finance the massive project along the Canadian border.