To some, miles of desert solar mirrors and wind turbines hundreds of feet tall symbolize energy independence and clean energy alternatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But increasingly, environmentalists, rural residents, and Native Americans argue that large scale proposed projects (such as Tule Wind in East County and Tessera’s Solar project in Ocotillo) are anything but “green.” They point to massive destruction of the environment, wildlife habitat, cultural and sacred sites, as well as bird deaths from wind farms. At year’s end, a judge granted an injunction that may spell a death knoll for the Ocotillo project—and a flurry of new lawsuits have been filed seeking to halt several giant energy projects. So what’s the alternative? Incentives for widespread rooftop solar in urban areas, opponents of industrial-scale energy projects propose.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE WIND FARM? A flash lit up the night, then everything went dark, a witness told East County Magazine. Then the Campo Wind Farm was offline for more than two months after that stormy night, we reported in February. All 75 blades on each of 25 wind turbines had to be replaced. What caused the massive disruption? High winds, an electrical malfunction, or something else? The questions remain unanswered.
[excerpted from “Top East County news stories of 2010 – rest of article available at source]
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