FAIRFIELD – A new windmill at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fairfield won unanimous approval Wednesday from city planning commissioners after they were told the project does not pose problems for Travis Air Force Base.
“We certainly need every bit of Travis we get,” commission chairman Don McDonald said.
John Pimentel, president of the San Francisco-based Foundation Windpower that will build the wind turbine system, said the foundation works with U.S. Air Force officials at the base and has abandoned several projects thought to have merit because of military concerns about the locations.
“We’ve tried to be a good partner with the mission at Travis,” Pimentel told commissioners.
He said after the commission vote that Travis officials review projects for issues that include potential radar interference.
The wind turbine system near Hale Ranch Road at the brewery south of Interstate 80 involves three rotating, 135-foot-long blades, the city staff said, with total height to the extended blade tip reaching 398 feet.
The Solano County Airport Land Use Commission will conduct a public hearing on the project Thursday.
Planning commissioners approved a similar wind turbine in 2009. The second system they agreed to Wednesday would provide about 10 percent of the brewery’s yearly power requirements with a renewable energy source, the city said. The turbine would be highly visible from several sites, including Cordelia Road and I-80, according to a city staff report.
The windmill project is self-contained, unstaffed and requires only limited maintenance, the city said. Sheldon Elementary School, located more than 1.7 miles away across Highway 12, is the closest school to the site.
County airport land use commissioners meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Solano County Government Center, Board of Supervisors chambers, 675 Texas St. in Fairfield.
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