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.
The path to a greener future in California might not be all fair winds and sunshine through Sacramento. A state senate proposal, SB100, doubles down on existing goals and would make California the second state, after Hawaii, to commit to 100 percent renewable energy and zero-carbon sources for electricity. Renewable energy companies – especially solar and energy tech firms in the Bay Area – are all in. But the bill has received a tepid response from environmentalists and opposition from utilities, oil . . .
Here in the desert, public lands are only part of the picture: As part of the Obama administration's California desert plan, several county governments have developed their own land-use plans. State and federal officials have long expected most solar and wind projects in the desert to be built on private lands administered by the counties. But so far, those county plans haven't led to much clean energy development, either. Some county governments have placed strict restrictions on solar and wind — often driven by opposition from rural communities, where many residents see energy projects as unwanted intruders that disturb pristine landscapes and disrupt gorgeous views.
Opponents of the Tule Wind Project in San Diego’s East County are taking another shot at trying to stop one portion of the wind farm that will erect turbines along the ridgeline in the McCain Valley. The Protect Our Communities Foundation (POC) filed a court documents Friday with the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, claiming the federal government did not follow its own procedures when it OK’d the second phase of the Tule project. Called Tule II, . . .
Your April 26 story, “Developer pulls plug on proposed wind farm near Searchlight,” should have probably included a subhead stating, “Industry and government fraud exposed in wind farm attempt.” Conservationists took the federal Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to court, arguing the agencies hadn’t adequately analyzed the impacts to federally protected species. This statement just happens to be absolutely true. Not only for this location but at every wind farm location in America because . . .
How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists placed motion-activated cameras facing the entrances of 46 active desert tortoise burrows in a wind energy facility near Palm Springs, California. Video recordings showed that visits to burrows from five predators – bobcats, gray foxes, coyotes, black bears . . .
Two companies are eyeing the Central Coast as a promising location for the first offshore wind farm on the West Coast – a move that concerns conservationists and the local fishing industry. Their fears? Miles of underwater cables could trap whales. Constant underwater noise might interrupt sea life navigation and communication. Birds could be killed by spinning windmill blades, and access could be lost to large swaths of fishing grounds for black cod and swordfish. Federal waters off the Central Coast . . .
A renewable energy developer is moving on from a Nevada wind project after years of legal wrangling, its dreams of a 200-megawatt wind farm killed by environmentalists who successfully argued the power plant could harm golden eagles and desert tortoises. Federal officials approved the Searchlight wind farm – which would have included 87 wind turbines on public land sixty miles south of Las Vegas, near the California border – four years ago. But conservationists took the federal Bureau of Land Management and . . .
Our commercial fishermen met with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the bureau plans on putting hundreds of wind turbines off our coastline, taking hundreds of square miles of ocean away from fishing. We spoke with fishermen on the East Coast that had five wind turbines installed off Rhode Island, and they had nothing good to say. The installation required huge cement slabs on the bottom. The blades cause radar interference for miles. They are in squid and scallop . . .
A wind farm in the southeastern Solano County community of Birds Landing was subject to $2.2 million in fraud by six defendants, according to an indictment on April 6 by a federal grand jury based on investigations by the FBI and IRS. The men were involved in a “scheme that caused the generation of purchase orders for parts and services not actually needed at the wind farms,” according to a statement from the Department of Justice. Purchase orders were sent . . .
Northwest rivers are running high as all that winter snowpack melts into spring runoff. And that means the region is producing too much of a good thing: carbon-free, renewable energy in the form of both dam-generated hydropower along with electricity from spinning wind-farm turbines. That’s prompted the federal government to take an action it avoided during the last four years of drought conditions: shutting down wind power. That’s something the Bonneville Power Administration did each spring from 2010 to 2012, . . .