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Benicia City Council to discuss wind turbine development  

Credit:  By Irma Widjojo, Vallejo Times-Herald | Posted: 01/02/15 | www.timesheraldonline.com ~~

The Benicia City Council is set to discuss the development of wind turbines to generate extra revenue for the city at its first 2015 meeting Tuesday night.

The wind turbines, which would be constructed by a third-party developer, would be located at the city’s water treatment plant, and is forecast to generate about $75,000 annually in lease payments. The energy would also be sold to Pacific Gas & Energy or Marin Clean Energy.

However, the turbines are tall and could affect the views of the hills or even biological resources, according to staff.

City staff is recommending the council to set a parameter surround the development, including community outreach, and to authorize the city manager to move forward bidding solicitation from developers.

The plan is in line with the city’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emission in Benicia.

In other business, the Fire Department is also set to ask the council to accept an $18,950 grant Fireman’s Fund Heritage Program grant to purchase an inflatable boat about 15-foot long, and motor powered.

The grant would also fund some equipment for the safety of the personnel operating the boat.

The annual operating and maintenance costs of the boat is forecast to be about $5,000, which will be covered by the department’s operating budget, according to staff report.

The boat would enable the department to perform water rescues. Currently, the firefighters are limited to observing an incident from the shore, intervening with shoreline rescue technique within 30 foot from the shorelines.

The department relies on outside agencies for other rescues, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Solano County Sheriff’s Office, or American Canyon Fire Department. However, staff said assistance from other agencies could take some time to arrive.

The boat would also be used for other purposes, including by the police department, or during flooding.

Since January of 2012, the department has had to respond to seven water-related incidents, according to staff reports.

The council is set to meet at 7 p.m., after a 6 p.m. closed session, Tuesday at City Hall, 250 E. L St. Agendas and staff reports can be found at benicia.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/meetresults.aspx.

Source:  By Irma Widjojo, Vallejo Times-Herald | Posted: 01/02/15 | www.timesheraldonline.com

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

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