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Massive wind turbines stirring up green energy and a bit of controversy

It has been years in the making and now the new giant windmills are going strong. The Dillion Wind Power Project in North Palm Springs is now complete.

45 new wind turbines, each standing more than 200 feet tall, will now provide valley residents with 45 megawatts of clean, green, renewable energy. This is enough power for more than 13,000 valley homes.

“It reduces the emissions that would be the equivalent of taking 11,000 cars off the road,” said Jan Johnson of IBERDROLA RENEWABLES Dillon Wind Power Project.

The project spreads across 15,000 acres and, project officials say, only impacts less than 2% of that area’s habitats.

“I love them. I’m very green, energy is great, we need them,”said Lee Cohen who owns Windmill Market, down the street from the windmills. He says his business depends on windmill traffic, he welcomes the new giant additions.

“We get a lot of employees, everyone driving through, they are happy to come here, and they like the name too,” Cohen added as he sent his loyal customers on their way.

But not everyone agrees with this project, some people feel it is not necessary for the windmills to be built in the North Palm Springs area.

“I think they are kind of annoying, honestly. If they want to build more property they are going to get in the way, especially since the estates are adding more villages,” said Desert Hot Springs resident Lindsey Fenoglio, who lives down the street from the new turbines.

And there were other concerns against Dillon Wind, some residents that face the windmills everyday feel they should get their electricity rates lowered.

“We take windmill development very seriously, we want to have the minimum impact on all forms of life, wildlife as well as our own communities,” Johnson told KPSP.

Windmills, a Coachella Valley landmark, now bigger and greener, yet still spinning up controversy in the west valley.

The windmills will provide power to Southern California Edison.

By Mary Hensley
KPSP Local 2 News


30 May 2008