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Windy road ahead for San Diego County residents

As the 2020 deadline for energy companies to procure the state-mandated 33 percent renewable energy approaches, residents living in rural parts of the county appear to be running against numerous wind and solar projects.

Tonight, members of the Boulevard Community Planning Group will be updated on several large wind-energy projects. One of which, the Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project, has been stirring opposition in the community for months.

The project, a $500 million 200 megawatt wind farm off of Interstate 8 in Boulevard, will produce enough electricity for 130,000 homes. The environmental-impact report is expected out in weeks. But if the opposition letters in the draft environmental report are any indication, Iberdrola’s proposed project will have a difficult time gaining ground.

In a February letter, Congressman Bob Filner criticized the proposal and others like it.

“I call for a moratorium on industrial and wind turbine project applications and approvals, until science-based and peer-reviewed health surveys and studies are done to determine what setback requirements are needed to protect public health and safety.”

Representative Duncan Hunter also opposed the project. In his letter, Hunter averted to several “immitigable” environmental impacts.

“We must make every effort to ensure that these projects are developed in a manner that respects the residents of the community in which they are located. Indiscriminate placement of these resources in pursuit of energy or financial gains fails to protect the very individuals that proponents of these projects claim to be serving.”

During tonight’s community planning meeting, residents will review the project as well as other proposed wind and solar projects slated for eastern San Diego County.