February 11, 2012

Wind map back to drawing board

By Ed Gordon, Staff Writer, Tehachapi News, www.tehachapinews.com 9 February 2012

A hotly contested “wind map” under consideration by the Kern County Board of Supervisors was sent back to the planning department last week following a public hearing at which 34 people spoke, many among them Tehachapi residents.

The Kern County Board of Supervisors was presented with six options by their planners, who had been asked to come up with a map showing where wind development can occur in the eastern area of the county. Last Tuesday, the supervisors directed them to do more work and come bac with a map showing where wind development can occur.

Supervisor Zack Scrivner said he thought some people are under the impression that the county has been trying to accelerate wind develepment with its map project.

He said his expectation was that the board would give the planning department direction after listening to public comments.

“My sense of what we need to do at this point is to slow way down to allow people time to look at all these maps, go out, workshop them again in the communities of East Kern and get the imput from people that to determing exactly where these lines can go,” Scrivner said.

The floor was then opened for public comment at which time 34 audience members were able to present their opinions concerning the maps. Most indicated they were not in favor of any additional wind turbines being place in the area. However, an exclusionary map- showing where wind turbines will not be allowed- appeared to be favored over any of the other maps if one were to be adopted.

Among those speaking were Tim Kleirer of “Ranchers for Responsible Conservation” who said he is concerned that the map project is about fast-tracking projects on the Loop Ranch and also on property that the City of Vernon owns.

Randy Hoyle, Senior Vice President of Terra-Gen Power- the biggest wind developer in Kern County- spoke in favor of a map. He noted that his company has invested $2.2 billion in eastern Kern County.

“Consistant public policy drives private investment in the wind industry,” Hoyle said. “It’s important to clearly define the county’s intention with regard to a wind resource map. Kern County has the ultimate jurisdiction over these areas. The second item is to take into account private land owner rights to develop their property for a wind farm.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/11/wind-map-back-to-drawing-board/