Wind Power News: California
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
After facing late opposition from labor unions, a measure to require utility companies to use renewable energy for all of the retail electricity sold in the state faltered in the final week of the legislative session. Senate Bill 100, introduced by Sen. President Pro Tem Kevin de León, calls for all retail electricity sold in the state by utility companies to come from renewable energy and zero-carbon sources by 2046. The measure also accelerates the timeline to hit interim targets . . .
California has grown accustomed to setting benchmark after benchmark on environmental policies, but ambitious efforts to spread renewable energy around the state and the region could grind to a halt this week. One proposal, Senate Bill 100 from Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), would phase out fossil fuels for generating electricity within three decades. The other, Assembly Bills 762 and 813, would lay the groundwork for a regional electricity grid that could make it easier to . . .
The late-session plan to restructure management of the California power grid skidded to a halt Wednesday in the wake of growing opposition from interest groups and a spate of negative publicity. While lobbyists and advocacy groups spent much of the week pressing for passage or defeat of the proposal long-backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the lawmaker who introduced the bill withdrew his dual measures early in the afternoon. Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, said he was not abandoning the idea of . . .
SACRAMENTO >> A pair of late-hour bills would pave the way for California to make a sweeping change to its power grid, linking it to other states and allowing new electricity exports and imports. The rushed legislation, introduced Friday by Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, would overhaul rules for entering energy-sharing agreements with other western states. It comes with a flurry of end-of-session environmental bills and may be negotiated with a “100 percent clean energy” bill carried by Senate Leader Kevin . . .
State lawmakers are hammering out a bill that would pave the way for California to import more wind energy from Wyoming and export more solar power to other western states, potentially saving homes and businesses billions of dollars on their electric bills. The last-minute legislation would see California give up sole control of the state’s power grid, which critics say could give conservative officials in Utah and Wyoming influence over the Golden State’s energy mix – a major concern for some . . .
The proposed Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind energy project could face challenges selling power in the desert southwest, officials told lawmakers in Casper last week. The farm, being developed by a subsidiary of oil and gas company Anschutz Corp., is expected to bring $847 million in tax dollars to the state over the first 20 years of operation. It will be the largest wind project in Wyoming and significantly increase the amount of wind energy capacity in the Cowboy State. But . . .
An estimate from nonpartisan legislative analysts shows renewable energy regulations are a relatively costly way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “It’s a more expensive, less flexible approach to reducing emissions,” said Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, a think tank affiliated with the California Chamber of Commerce. He said ratepayers will end up covering the cost in their utility bills.
Resistance to large-scale wind projects may be surprising, given California policymakers’ commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions but pushback has been also seen in a score of states, including Vermont, which also prides itself on clean energy credentials. Resistance also comes from some residents in rural areas who say wind farms mar views and raise general quality of life issues.
Hydroelectric plants may not be considered as a legitimate clean source. The reason? While water spilling over turbines creates electricity with almost no pollution, the dams built to harness the water power are can cause tremendous harm to ecosystems. Most environmental activists would prefer to get all the state’s power from other sources, without relying on the blocking off rivers – even if those dam projects were completed decades ago.
SAN BERNARDINO – The county remains on the brink of “a new era of sustainable energy” after the Board of Supervisors voted to extend the review process of its Renewable Energy Conservation Element that’s been four years in the making. With nearly 60 people lined up for public comment and dozens more attendees than what the fire marshal would allow inside Covington Chambers, the public hearing for the REC Element was, as Supervisor James Ramos put it, “a long and tenacious . . .