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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 do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.


May 12, 2022 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Giant wind turbines to float off the Morro Bay coast

Roughly 17 miles off Morro Bay, the U.S. government plans to lease an area just smaller than Hong Kong to wind energy companies to create more electricity than Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant’s 2,200 megawatts. Though the ocean may seem vast and fathomless, the proposal has already identified that commercial ships and the U.S. Navy are active in the 376-square-mile area ​— ​a fact that required a negotiation with the Navy Secretary. It has also set off alarm bells for fisherman in . . . Complete story »


April 27, 2022 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Public comment on Morro Bay Offshore Wind Energy Area reveals locals’ concerns, hopes for project

A potential renewable energy game-changer for California could be coming soon to the Central Coast: floating offshore wind turbines in a 376-square-mile area of ocean off of San Luis Obispo County’s coastline. The City of Morro Bay and other local officials support the project for potentially establishing an offshore wind industry in the area, creating jobs and a new clean energy source. Some local residents and advocates are expressing support, while others are voicing concerns about what they see as . . . Complete story »


April 22, 2022 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Commercial fishers talk offshore wind concerns

Offshore wind energy is one step closer to becoming a reality on the Central Coast, and with it, hundreds of potential jobs and renewable energy generation that will be much needed when the Diablo Canyon Power Plant closes. But the local commercial fishing industry continues to raise concerns over how such an undertaking will impact their livelihoods. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released its draft environmental assessment for leasing the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area earlier this month, . . . Complete story »


April 19, 2022 • California, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Wind energy company fined for deaths of 150 eagles, pleads guilty to criminal charges

Opponents of wind farms in San Diego’s East County have long voiced concerns over potentially deadly impacts on eagles. Now a major wind energy company, NextEra Energy, a subsidiary of ESI Energy, has pleaded guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and killing 150 eagles at multiple wind energy facilities. The company was ordered to pay over $8 million in fines and restitution for violations at wind farms in Wyoming and Nex Mexico, but also acknowledged deaths of Bald . . . Complete story »


April 16, 2022 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Coastal Commission moves offshore wind forward

The California Coastal Commission voted unanimously April 7 to conditionally concur with a federal determination that allowing energy companies and organizations to study a proposed offshore wind farm area on the Humboldt County coast is consistent with the state’s Coastal Management Program. The highly technical and bureaucratic vote clears the way for companies interested in purchasing federal leases to erect large, floating offshore wind turbines to generate renewable electricity off the coast to begin studying and assessing the project site. . . . Complete story »


April 13, 2022 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Launch of condors on tribal land marks the species’ comeback, but a new threat looms large

A plan to return federally endangered California condors to a rugged and remote stretch of Northern California coastline and redwood forests is taking shape on Yurok tribal lands where the Klamath River meets the Pacific Ocean. The tribe believes the condor is a sacred animal, and it says annual releases of four to six captive-bred condors starting later this month are part of its “obligation to bring balance to the world.” That’s because in the absence of large carnivores such . . . Complete story »


Wind energy company pleads guilty to killing eagles

The wind energy company ESI Energy Inc. (ESI) must pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution and serve a five-year probation after pleading guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, according to a statement released by the United States Department of Justice. In the U.S., ESI is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., one of the largest providers of renewable energy, per Reuters’ Barbara Goldberg. The company deliberately elected not to apply for proper permits for “any . . . Complete story »


Ruling on eagle deaths divides wind power industry

The sentencing of a wind energy company this week in the deaths of at least 150 eagles has brought renewed focus to the complicated relationship between wind turbines and birds. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy, the world’s biggest generator of wind and solar power, pleaded guilty to three deaths of bald and golden eagles in Wyoming and New Mexico. It also acknowledged that more than 100 other eagles had been killed across 50 of its 54 wind farms, primarily during . . . Complete story »


Wind operator to pay $8M in pact over killing eagles

A leading wind farm operator has agreed to pay fines and other fees totaling just over $8 million, plus potentially spending millions of additional dollars, because its operations were linked to the deaths of at least 150 eagles over about a decade. Partly at issue was whether the energy producer should have applied for permits before its operations killed the birds, or if the business should have taken other actions. The legal case points up the fact that responsible wind . . . Complete story »


Energy company to pay up to $35 million after turbines killed eagles

An American wind energy company has admitted to killing at least 150 bald and golden eagles, most of which were fatally struck by wind turbine blades, federal prosecutors said. ESI Energy pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) after eagles died at three of its facilities in Wyoming and New Mexico, according to a statement from the Justice Department. The MBTA prohibits killing, capturing or transporting protected migratory bird species without a permit. . . . Complete story »


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