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Letters: wind energy  

Credit:  San Diego Union-Tribune | www.utsandiego.com 13 June 2012 ~~

Concerning the 112 wind turbines that are planned for Ocotillo at the base of the mountains near El Centro (“Bracing for winds of change,” June 12), how much do the citizens and the governments really know about wind turbines? My only experience is seeing a line of 15 of them next to Interstate 8 on a ridge of mountains across from an Indian casino while on my way over the mountains to Phoenix and my return to San Diego a few times each year. Four out of five times there are usually three or four that are not working. That is 20 percent to 26 percent that are not generating electricity. The last time by, not long ago, none were rotating.

I would suggest that drilling for oil or natural gas in the U.S. and using that along with nuclear energy would produce 100 percent all the time. I believe that this wind generation for electricity is a loser, and will present lots of misery for a lot of people that have to live around these monstrous, ugly contraptions. Do not agree to this escalation of use until all the facts are on the table. It may be another U.S. government “Solyndra bust,” and we the taxpayers will pay the bill. – Earle Callahan, Coronado

In the 1990s, 800,000 acres of desert land in California were dedicated to protect the few remaining Peninsular bighorn sheep. With this protection, the 600 that existed then now number 950, still a terribly small number.

Last year, with no evidence, the refuge size was reduced by 430,000 acres – including 12,500 acres for the Ocotillo Express wind turbine project site just east of San Diego County by Interstate 8. Former Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Superintendent Mark Jorgensen stated, “They’ve (the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service) never produced the science to substantiate their reduction.” Last week, 10 Peninsular bighorn sheep – five ewes and five lambs – were photographed at the Ocotillo Express site. Despite prior testimony about them living there, the U.S. Department of the Interior had approved the project, including the developers’ right to kill them.

I value the survival of desert bighorn sheep over that electricity. Rooftop solar PV in San Diego would be more efficient and less harmful. Add insult to injury: The approval states that the project will power 25,000 homes, not the 130,000 homes the project environmental impact statement claimed. Write the Interior Department and demand it revoke the approval, and demand the lands be returned to protect the sheep. – Kay Stewart, San Diego

The president of Clean Tech San Diego, Jim Waring, states that they will provide renewable power for decades to 50,000 to 60,000 homes and inconvenience 100 to 150 people.

Subjectivity seems to be common place in the “green energy” sector. How does anyone know the real impact of this project? A recent article about the Sunrise Powerlink stated that up to 30 businesses in Alpine went out of business due to the construction of this antiquated line. So what was the real impact of the costly transmission line on the many communities affected?

Real numbers are void of such subjectivity. Here are some real numbers from a reputable solar consultant I used to build my off-grid home.

A 1,700-square-foot home in the Southern California needs around 120 square feet of solar panels to be totally independent of the grid. Let’s round that up for simplicity and the skeptics to 200 square feet. Remember there is 43,560 square feet in an acre. According to the Bureau of Land Management notice the Ocotillo Express Wind Project will disturb 12,000 acres. If that were rooftop solar that would equate to service for 2,613,600 people. Much better than the 50,000 to 60,000 homes stated by Jim Waring at a much smaller impact. Pretty simple when you stick to the facts. – Derik Martin, Jacumba

Source:  San Diego Union-Tribune | www.utsandiego.com 13 June 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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