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Another marathon meeting brought the same result.
Though touted as more “wildlife friendly” than their windmill ancestors, the new turbines aren’t allaying the concerns of naturalists who have long been concerned about the area’s bird population. The spinning blades still are projected to kill dozens of birds each year, including golden eagles. The Altamont Pass area is a critical breeding and wintering habitat for the eagles, said Glenn Phillips, director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society. ...Phillips said the larger, slower-spinning blades on newer turbines haven’t significantly slowed the bird deaths, however. He said bird kills appear to be more closely tied to the amount of energy being produced, the amount of air that’s “swept” by the blades, and how long they run.
ConnectGen LLC marketed the changes in a half-page advertisement in Tuesday’s Record Searchlight, calling the revisions “Substantially Reduced Impact & Visibility.” The company says it has reduced the number of wind turbines from 72 to 48, which has cut the overall footprint of the project by more than 33%. ConnectGen also proposes to decrease the height of the turbines by 10%, from 679 feet to about 610 feet.
The modest profit projections for Fountain Wind belie the massive corporate bankrolls backing the green-energy project. ConnectGen was established by the billionaire international private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners, which was recently in the news for bidding on bankrupt oil and gas corporations as well as launching a campaign to raise $4.5 billion for their investment portfolio. Fountain Wind also stands to enrich Shasta Cascade Timberland, a subsidiary of New Forest products, an Australian company that has more than AU$5.7 billion in assets internationally. The nearly 30,000 acres of unceded Pit River ancestral land that is being leased to ConnectGen for the project is now owned by Shasta Cascade Timberland.
The Board of Supervisors will issue a final vote on Fountain Wind at a date still to be determined, according to Shasta County Senior Planner Lio Salazar. While the commissioners expressed multiple concerns about the project, three of them said protecting the Pit River tribe’s cultural heritage, religious practices and the remains of their ancestors was a significant reason they denied the permit.“These are places where they go to pray and spend time with their god . . .How would you feel if we put a windmill in your church?”
Daily solar-powered generation began declining as large wildfires broke out in mid-August, reaching a low of 68 GWh on August 22 before returning to approximately 100 GWh by the end of the month. Solar-powered generation began declining again as wildfire activity rose in September, falling as low as 50 GWh on September 11 as PM2.5 smoke pollution increased.
Renewable energy corporations have launched an eleventh-hour campaign to derail a petition seeking endangered species protection for Joshua trees, saying it could hinder development of the solar and wind power projects California needs to wean itself off fossil fuels. ...The state Fish and Game Commission on Aug. 20 is expected to vote on whether to accept the petition, which was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity. Approval has been recommended by state biologists.
A couple of weeks ago I suggested that a proposed wind energy project was meeting stiff headwinds. In a Lompoc City Council hearing on June 3, one aspect of the proposed Strauss Wind was they were offering a Community Benefit Agreement that could provide $150,000 to the city’s general fund at the completion of the project if the city approved an oversized load permit.
Project applicants offered a $150,000 'gift,' but City Council wants at least $1 million commitment
Although Lompoc is not slated to benefit from the power generated by a wind energy project being planned just south of the city, the venture could provide a boost to the city’s general fund. The Lompoc City Council this month directed staff to prepare a Community Benefits Agreement that the city will look to enter into with Strauss Wind, LLC, the developer behind the 100-megawatt Strauss Wind Energy project that is planned for the ridgetops near the end of San Miguelito Road. The pact is likely to include a substantial payment to the city, if certain conditions are met.
A proposed wind energy project, darling of those who wish to “save the environment,” south of Lompoc has been contentious since it was first proposed almost a decade ago. While this project proposes to produce 100 megawatts of energy, none of it will be used by the city of Lompoc.
Decision bypasses Campo’s tribal regulations and land use planning protections: Legal challenges are in the works
After hours of public comment and debate on Tuesday, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors denied an appeal calling to turn down a wind farm proposal in Lompoc. The Strauss wind energy project is now officially ready to break ground in February.
After an emotional, hours-long dialogue, the supervisors stopped short of approving the company’s proposal in a 2-3 decision, before voting again to officially deny the project. In the initial vote, supervisors Virginia Bass and Rex Bohn voted to move the project forward. In the 4-1 final vote, Bass switched sides to join the majority.
The Terra-Gen wind energy project received a denial from the Humboldt County Planning Commission on Thursday, concluding an emotional series of meetings in which the commission appeared to be veering toward approval before swinging the other way.
The state Water Resources Control Board has raised objections to the controversial Terra-Gen wind energy project, saying its intended use of water could lead to the discharge of hazardous chemicals.
Strauss Wind Energy proposes up to 30 towers on nearly 3,000 acres south of the city
Federal judges today dismissed a challenge to a large wind farm near San Diego, rejecting claims that agencies did not adequately weigh potential impacts on bald eagles and other birds. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Land Management conducted the legally required “hard look” at alternatives before approving the Tule Wind LLC project.
Board Chairman and 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino asked what the scale of such a solar project might be to power the approximately 150,000 households in the county. An Optony spokesman said a 1-acre solar array could power 60 to 100 homes, so it would require a total of 1,500 acres of solar panels scattered throughout the county to power all the county’s homes.
CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. -- The Bureau of Land Management is in the beginning stages of a year-long process to analyze a Canadian-owned company's proposal to build dozens of turbines in the Walker Ridge area, where another wind farm had been proposed a decade ago.