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Wind Power News: California

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These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.


February 17, 2017 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Tule Wind construction resumes after suspension for digging without cultural monitors present and unauthorized clearing

The Department of the Interior temporarily shut down construction of the Tule Wind Energy project in McCain Valley on January20th due to six confirmed violations of the right-of-way grant conditions, including “three incidents of ground disturbing work without a cultural monitor present and three incidents of clearing beyond the disturbance limits at four different locations,” according to the notice of temporary suspension issued January 20th. The notice added that while no biological or cultural resource damage had been confirmed as . . .

Complete story »


February 16, 2017 • California, WyomingPrint storyE-mail story

California demand for wind power energizes transmission firms

In all, about 5,700 miles of transmission lines are in development with the goal of delivering renewable energy to California from other states, according to the Western Interstate Energy Board. Such investments are an outgrowth of an emerging paradox of California’s well-known political bent toward aggressive environmentalism. Green power advocates and state officials want more wind power – but California conservationists increasingly oppose more wind farms as an environmental blight on the state’s pristine desert landscape.

Complete story »


February 16, 2017 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

San Diego County will not pursue community choice in unincorporated areas

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will not move forward with an alternative energy program known as community choice aggregation. The board voted Wednesday on a Comprehensive Renewable Energy Plan that has been in the works since 2013. While the board voted unanimously to accept the plan, they did not vote to include one aspect of it, which was to do a study on whether community choice is feasible and cost effective. The study would have been the first . . .

Complete story »


February 11, 2017 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Suisun City plan affirmed, reports heard on turbines, wildlife and drones

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 . . .

Complete story »


February 10, 2017 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Jerry Brown wants Trump to help fund controversial desert hydropower project next to Joshua Tree

California Gov. Jerry Brown has thrown his weight behind a controversial energy project next to Joshua Tree National Park – and he wants President Donald Trump to help fund it. The Eagle Mountain hydropower project would tap the Chuckwalla Valley aquifer, just outside the national park, sucking up 32.6 billion gallons of groundwater over 50 years to fill two abandoned mining pits in the heart of the California desert. Supporters say the “pumped storage” project would help California meet its renewable . . .

Complete story »


January 26, 2017 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Carlsbad power plant won’t open on time; clean energy challenges will continue

A funny thing had happened on the way to final approval. Engineers changed the plant design to one that will be both more flexible, and more polluting, hour for hour, than the original approved design. Hourly pollution rates when the plant is running full bore will be higher “for all pollutants,” according to the staff assessment by the California Public Utilities Commission. It will release 25 percent more greenhouse gases per hour than its original design, 15 pounds more smog-forming oxides of nitrogen per hour and 6 pounds more fine particles than the public was originally told.

Complete story »


January 10, 2017 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind energy troubles

Several people in the small desert town of Ocotillo have been plagued with problems from a wind energy facility. A CW6 News investigation into Ocotillo Wind, operated by Pattern Energy, revealed many mechanical and design problems, and the failure to meet projected generation figures for power output. Just last month a turbine sheered its own mast, causing a collapse. I spent the day with two residents of Ocotillo who started a social media page against the project and are on . . .

Complete story »


January 7, 2017 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

BACKCOUNTRY AGAINST DUMPS DONNA TISDALE v. OCOTILLO EXPRESS LLC PATTERN ENERGY GROUP LP

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. BACKCOUNTRY AGAINST DUMPS and DONNA TISDALE, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. SALLY JEWELL, in her official capacity as Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior; et al., Defendants-Appellees, OCOTILLO EXPRESS, LLC and PATTERN ENERGY GROUP, LP, Intervenor-Defendants-Appellees. No. 13-57129     Decided: January 05, 2017 Before: FARRIS, BYBEE, and N.R. SMITH, Circuit Judges. MEMORANDUM* Backcountry Against Dumps and Donna Tisdale (“Appellants”) appeal the district court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Appellees. Appellants maintain that . . .

Complete story »


December 26, 2016 • California, NevadaPrint storyE-mail story

California’s energy needs could boost Nevada

As part of a final push for clean energy in the remaining weeks of the Obama administration, the Department of the Interior approved a 728-mile power line Dec. 13 that will move wind energy from Wyoming to Southern Nevada. That wind power, which the federal agency says is enough to supply 1.8 million homes, could then be sold to Western states, especially California. California is a key market for many clean-energy projects – even beyond its borders – because of its high . . .

Complete story »


December 19, 2016 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Ocotillo residents share grave concerns on wind turbines

EL CENTRO – Concerned Ocotillo residents approached the Imperial County Board of Supervisors during the public comments portion of Tuesday’s meeting seeking assistance with numerous issues concerning the Pattern Energy wind farms in Ocotillo. The most significant, and what prompted the concerns, was a 500-foot-tall wind turbine at the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility collapsing on November 21, spewing debris and three blades across the desert floor. Jim Pelley, a retired aerospace engineer and Ocotillo resident, said public safety was at . . .

Complete story »


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