A giant wind farm proposed for more than 35,000 acres in eastern Shasta County will be the topic of a public meeting Thursday in Montgomery Creek.
Avangrid Renewables, a sustainable energy company with $32 billion in assets, wants to build up to 100 turbines on land that is near the Hatchet Ridge wind energy project.
The site is about 35 miles northeast of Redding and 6 miles west of Burney.
Thursday’s meeting – at 7 p.m. at Montgomery Creek Elementary School, 30365 State Highway 299 East – is a scoping session as Shasta County works with Environmental Science Associates of San Francisco on the project’s draft environmental impact report.
Lio Salazar, a senior planner with the county, said the goal is to have the draft EIR published this summer, and then the final EIR go to the Shasta County Planning Commission late this year or early 2020.
The Planning Commission would be the final word on the project, first proposed in 2017, unless the commissioners’ decision is appealed to the Board of Supervisors.
Here’s what Avangrid Renewables proposes:
• The Fountain Wind project would feature up to 100 wind turbines, which is more than twice the size of Hatchet Ridge, where there are 44 turbines.
• At 591 feet, the tallest turbines in Fountain Wind would be nearly the height of Shasta Dam. They would also dwarf the Hatchet Ridge turbines that stand at 418 feet.
• Fountain Wind could produce up to 347 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 260,000 homes, according to a formula from the Lawrence Livermore Labs.
• The massive project would be built on 37,436 acres leased from Oxbow Timber I LLC.
The project developer will give a presentation and there will be “story boards” to showcase the plan, Salazar said.
“It’s not a question-and-answer session necessarily,” Salazar said, adding the public is encouraged to provide comments and concerns they believe the draft EIR should address.
Scott Kringen, the project developer, said it would take about two years to build the wind farm, which means Avangrid Renewables could be producing energy from the site by 2022.
The site appeals to Avangrid Renewables because it gets wind and there are existing transmission lines the company can tap into.
“We would be interconnecting with PG&E. That doesn’t mean they would be our customer,” Kringen said. “Our customers could be a variety of different folks.
The pace of the work would depend on the weather, Kringen said.
Salazar said the heights of the turbines could vary, and while the application says 100, that doesn’t mean there will be that many turbines once the project goes live.
Kringen did not know where the turbines to power Fountain Wind would come from.
“The turbine vendor has not been selected. It’s way too early in the process,” he said.
Kringen said the wind farm would provide about 12 full-time jobs.
Avangrid Renewables has two businesses:
• Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities that serve 3.2 million customers in the Northeast.
• Avangrid Renewables owns and operates 7.1 gigawatts of electricity capacity through mainly wind farms in 22 states, including five in California. One is in Solano County and the others are in Southern California.
This will probably be the only public scoping session the county hosts before the draft EIR is published, Salazar said.
“We are hoping for a good turnout,” he said.
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