Wind turbines, wildlife and drones came before Solano County Airport Land Use Commission officials Thursday, and commissioners gave all the thumbs up.
Regarding wind power,commissioners heard from the Windfarm RePower Working Group.
Members had been considering two things – replacing turbines due to catastrophic loss and whether there’s an alternative to line of sight for new projects.
Replacements, the group said, could be done with turbines of up to 500 feet tall. Though existing turbines stand about 350-400 feet, replacements of the same height no longer exist so going higher – up to 500 feet – is acceptable.
As for the latter, officials advised SMUD has said they want to introduce a study on the matter but that won’t be ready until March.
So, consensus is to go forward with the replacement recommendation and advise on the latter issue at a later date.
Regarding wildlife, the Wildlife Hazards Working Group has identified nine land use types that need to be evaluated for the potential of bird strikes, officials said.
Meanwhile, eight small scale project categories have been identified that could be exempted from the need for a Wildlife Hazard Assessment.
The group reviewed and discussed the Solano Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan in partnership with the Solano County Water Agency. SCWA’s biologist agreed to add mitigation measures to related environmental review documents, officials said.
Regarding a work plan for the study of potential regulations for recreational drones, compatibility issues and related policy alternatives have been identified.
A draft study has yet to be adopted.
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