Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

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Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc
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By edhat staff

The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission approved a wind energy project for Lompoc this Wednesday.

After a lengthy meeting, the commission voted unanimously for BayWa's 98 megawatts Strauss Wind Project in the hills south of Lompoc. This will be Santa Barbara County's first wind farm.

The project plans to place 29 wind turbines that are nearly 500 feet tall on approximately 3,000 acres near Miguelito Canyon and a 5,000 square foot operations building. This is the same location as the previously-approved Lompoc Wind Energy Project from 2009 that was scrapped due to the recession. 

The turbines can produce enough electricity for 43,000 homes and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40,000 metric tons per year. It also provides an estimated $40 million in tax revenue over the project's 30-year life span, creates 150 temporary construction jobs and 4 to 6 permanent jobs, and will allow local ranchers to continue agricultural operations while receiving supplemental income, according to the project's supporters.

The majority of public attendees supported the project although concerns were raised about the potential effect on birds and removing oak trees. 

The Community Environmental Council stated the modified final project includes micro-siting turbines to reduce impacts to birds, reducing oak tree removal by 87%, and requiring that 10 oaks be planted for each one removed.

The project is expected to be completed late next year.

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EastBeach Nov 25, 2019 09:52 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

While correct (I believe Marin Clean Energy has entered into a PPA with BayWa) everyone benefits from the reduction in dependence on fossil fuel plants. And it's not like Santa Barbara County isn't already benefiting from new renewable electricity plants built outside of the county since we're a net importer of power.

pstarSR Nov 25, 2019 09:09 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Im going to reiterate what Macpuzl said below to Artemisia. why does it matter where its used? It will offset the use of fossil fuel power plants, and offset our dependency on another grid. No one is ignoring anything, Is our power delema a regional thing? no its not. Its world wide!

Artemisia Nov 24, 2019 09:49 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Proponents are either unaware or conveniently ignoring the fact that the power generated by this wind project is destined to be sent to Northern California, not used in Santa Barbara county.

Artemisia Nov 25, 2019 08:08 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Only in that people arguing in favor of the project keep saying "We need the power." But WE won't be getting it.

Artemisia Nov 25, 2019 08:09 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Only in that people arguing in favor of the project keep saying "We need the power." But WE won't be getting it.

EastBeach Nov 24, 2019 02:44 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

The reality is regional utilities enter into PPA's (Power Purchase Agreements) to buy electrical power from generator plants located all over the state that can be accessed through the CA power grid. Those plants are owned by various companies and entities. Santa Barbara County itself was a net *importer* of electrical power in 2018 per data from the CEC. In contrast, SLO County is a huge net exporter given they have Diablo and two large solar farms (CA Valley and Topaz). Their solar plants dwarf anything we have locally (Las Flores Canyon and Ellwood).

pstarSR Nov 23, 2019 12:57 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

hiding your head in the sand and not trying anything is paramount to just giving up and dying. we have to try other means of sustaining our power hungry society.

macpuzl Nov 23, 2019 12:42 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Wind turbine payback: Environmental lifecycle assessment of 2-megawatt wind turbines ========================================================================== https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140616093317.htm

macpuzl Nov 23, 2019 11:59 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

And yet the life-cycle costs of hydrocarbon technologies, and the vast subsidies they are given, are swept under the rug. Do a comparison, you'll see that the 20-25 years of energy produced by a wind technology installation is essentially free compared to the ongoing operational costs of a fossil fuel plant. Fossil fuel advocates demonstrate blinkered vision colored by political opinion, rather than facts-based decision-making.

Lucky 777 Nov 23, 2019 10:55 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

I know someone who had a job working at the wind turbine field in Tehachapi. He drove a pickup around the site all day picking up dead birds. MULTIPLE pickup loads every day. The number was staggering.

PitMix Nov 25, 2019 09:59 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

The turbines proposed for this location are very different than the short whirlygigs they used in Tehachapi and Palm Springs and Livermore. The old ones are very deadly for birds. The new ones still kill birds but the number can be minimized if they don't locate the towers on migratory routes. Deaths due to wind turbines are very low compared to the other multiple causes of bird deaths. Almost everything we do as humans affects other species negatively, so I guess you have to pick your poison.

Thomas John Nov 23, 2019 10:25 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Here is a link showing the comparison of several major power sources life cycle greenhouse gas impacts. So from the creation of the plants/cells/windmills, operation, disposal. https://www.nrel.gov/analysis/assets/images/lca_harm_ng_fig_2.jpg

macpuzl Nov 23, 2019 01:06 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Since their motivation is political dogma coupled with cupidity, they don't mind using pretzel logic to justify their positions.

macpuzl Nov 23, 2019 12:04 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Yes! Most of the carbonites here probably can't read that graph, but the life-cycle cost advantages clearly do not favor the existing plant technologies, compared to wind and solar.

a-1575897211 Nov 23, 2019 09:01 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Listening to some people is mentally exhausting. Oil is bad, wind turbines are bad, solar is bad b/c the manufacturing process pollutes - good grief maybe we should just turn off the lights all together and go back to horse drawn carriages and heating by fire. Oh wait - horses produce methane - bad - and wood smoke is bad. Some of you need to get a grip.

Stefana Nov 23, 2019 09:26 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

838 at least you are logical and fact based in your comment! The bottom line is, we have a major over population problem (or maybe it's not a problem, just reality). Everything is dirty in one way or another.

a-1575897211 Nov 23, 2019 09:16 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

160- it’s you throwing up your hands and saying “I was Told there would be no math on this test.” Very simple- do lifecycle analysis on all sources. They’re practically giving natgas away right now and the only reason we aren’t taking advantage is due to climate alarmism. Even though China is building coal plants weekly and produces more CO2 thank USA/EU combined. So, it comes down to which system is more polluting long term and windmills are vastly more polluting. Solar is less so, and easier to dismantle and partly recycle, but solar produces zero to no energy for most of the day and thus requires supplemental energy or massive battery banks. Be sure to do the math on the batteries.

a-1575897211 Nov 23, 2019 08:57 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Holy H*ll, so now people are complaining about this? Maybe we should just stick to oil. Some people just have to complain histrionically about everything, it's in their nature.

Artemisia Nov 23, 2019 07:41 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Not a word about the permanent impacts of straightening San Miguelito Road in order to get those gigantic turbine blades to the site. Strauss Wind Energy Project: "We had to destroy the environment in order to save it."

Shasta Guy Nov 23, 2019 12:14 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

This was from earlier in the year: 900 wind turbine blades going to the landfill in Wyoming. **** https://www.wyomingnewsnow.tv/content/news/Casper-Regional-Landfill-begins-burying-560707701.html *** They can’t be recycled, and they won’t break down. These are from just 3 wind farms in one state. I wonder how many 1000s of blades in California will have the same fate in a couple decades.

shorebird Nov 23, 2019 12:58 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Too bad those discarded blades were not used to create barrier reefs to hold back the encroaching tides from iceberg melting.

macpuzl Nov 23, 2019 12:11 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Again, even if tons of disposed blades go to landfills, you prefer dumping the gigaton residue of carbon-based production into the atmosphere?

a-1575897211 Nov 23, 2019 09:02 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Macpuzl- that’s wishful thinking. Yes the biggest ones use some carbon fiber along with fiberglass, but they still aren’t recyclable. And they still last at the very longest 25yrs and then become huge dismantling projects as set out above. Again, keep your eyes on the prize. The government in partnership with these companies like GE are foisting these costly and polluting “solutions” on us using our tax dollars. Focus on lifecycle pollution and natural gas is vastly better than tilting at windmills. https://www.ge.com/reports/catching-wind-ge-acquires-worlds-largest-turbine-blade-maker/

a-1575897211 Nov 23, 2019 09:12 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Macputz- Most modern Blades are mostly fiberglass and maximum lifespan is 25yrs according to the nearly bankrupt GE’s own literature. That means 20yrs real world. https://www.ge.com/reports/catching-wind-ge-acquires-worlds-largest-turbine-blade-maker/ Also, as for it being a hit piece, it was linking to a factual news report of how these blades are filling up landfills. Wake up.

macpuzl Nov 23, 2019 12:47 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Another thing to consider is that the blades aging out now are from 20 year old designs and technology. Newer carbon-fiber blades have a much longer lifetime.

macpuzl Nov 23, 2019 12:09 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

If you want to see a balanced discussion about wind energy, instead of the biased hit-piece referenced below, visit: https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/advantages-and-challenges-wind-energy

a-1575897211 Nov 23, 2019 09:24 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Mac- so looked at the DOE site and wouldn’t you know it, they leave out the lifecycle costs, and lifecycle pollution (from manufacturing to transporting the behemoths, to transforming the site, to Maintaining and decommissioning (Often earlier than planned) and the lifecycle *pollution* also from manufacturing, building but also the massive landfill waste as there are no windmills that can be recycled. None. The local government surely doesn’t look at any of this and instead likes to approve these boondoggles to create some local jobs and pat themselves on the back for fighting climate change and saving the world.

macpuzl Nov 22, 2019 11:39 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

americanexperiment.org is a right-wing mouthpiece for anti-environment propaganda, as you'll see if you just go to the home page. Praise for mining operations, denigration of anti-pollution standards, pushing trade schools over higher education. You name it, if it's an egotarian hot-button, they have an article on it. Just another dark money "thunk tank".

a-1575897211 Nov 23, 2019 09:07 AM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

I already disclosed that it is right wing. It’s right wing Because the left wing is hysterical about climate alarmism and doesn’t like to do the Environmental life cycle calculations just as you don’t do the calculations. That applies to all leftist policies foisted by the private jets class on the proletariat. Think Obama is going to Want anyone to stick a wind farm in front of his new $15m ocean front Martha’s Vineyard pad? “Windmills for thee but not for me” he says as he flies his gulfstream from conference to conference and talking about our biggest national security threat- climate change. Hopefully his solyndra buddies have some of that $800m tax dollars stashed away to host him as well. Anyway,

a-1575897211 Nov 22, 2019 09:25 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Diablo May be old and decrepit but a new nuclear facility would be much better for the CO2 aspect. All these green solutions require huge battery banks to store the excess energy. Nuclear should be a far more popular solution but it’s... radioactive. Keep in mind fumoshima and Chernobyl were the result of poor design and planning and perhaps too large of a scale. But smaller scale nukes have promise. The government does zero research into it.

Get over it Nov 22, 2019 09:16 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

So, I agree with many comments here and believe we all want cleaner energy. What gets me is that you can't go to the beach in Lompoc most of the year, because of the plovers. However, it's no problem killing other birds. Especially raptors who have a low reproductive rate and are especially vulnerable, due to their flight behaviors, to these wind turbines. Also, as noted, everything that goes into building, disposing of and paying for these 500' death traps. So, everyone thats all for it, Your all good with these things being in YOUR neighborhood..Right? Yeah..

jqb Nov 22, 2019 03:33 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

A tiny fraction of the birds killed annually are killed by windmills. The people who trot out this argument are grossly dishonest (it's a way of life for them) and don't care about birds. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/09/15/wind-turbines-kill-fewer-birds-than-cell-towers-cats/15683843/

a-1575897211 Nov 22, 2019 06:40 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

You couldn't be more wrong. I care about birds. I love birds. I know cats kill millions of songbirds annually. Birds are hit by vehicles, birds hit windows, birds are killed by pesticides. It's a wonder there are any birds left. What I don't get is how it's somehow okay that wind turbines kill birds and bats and some people nod their heads and say "We're fine with that. No big deal."

a-1575897211 Nov 22, 2019 06:11 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Sorry here’s the link https://www.americanexperiment.org/2019/08/argus-leader-sioux-falls-landfill-tightens-rules-minnesota-dumps-dozens-wind-turbine-blades/

a-1575897211 Nov 22, 2019 06:10 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Perhaps they don’t kill as many birds and bats but the real legacy is they’re massive hunks of fiberglass that need all sorts of fossil fuels to be manufactured, shipped and installed. If you care for reducing total greenhouse gases, you need to calculate all of the factors in your decision. If you care about virtue signaling how “green” you are then windmills might be a good option. Also, start planning for them to be repaired often and need electricity to start spinning. Lastly, start digging new landfill space bexisss there is no known means of recycling fiberglass windmills so after 15-20yrs these costly babies will need to be taken down and loaded on diesel trucks to be carted away to be processed. Be sure to calculate that. In the Midwest, there is already difficult disposing of legacy windmills from 20yrs ago as the states that used to take the refuse no longer want it. Windmill require 900 tons of energy hungry steel, 2500 tons of concrete. This link is from a right leaning website so just tell me how you can dispute their factual assertions not as hominem attacks on them for writing it or me for linking it to it. I’d love for wind to work. I’ve got 2 teslas and two properties with solar so I’m not “anti”- I just know they’re economically and environmentally inefficient on a large scale. Thanks.

CoastWatch Nov 22, 2019 02:27 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

UNBELIEVABLE that the Envoronmentalists let this happen... These giant wind machines produce so little engery and the props are NOT "Green" and need to be replaced so often that it kills any benefit... ALSO THESE KILL THOUSANDS OF BIRDS, ESPECIALLY BIRDS OF PREY like Turkey vultures, Coopers Hawks and Redtail Hawks... Just look for the PILE of dead birds underneath these abortions.

jqb Nov 22, 2019 03:28 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

"produce so little engery" Wrong. "are NOT "Green"" Wrong. "need to be replaced so often that it kills any benefit" Wrong. "PILE of dead birds underneath" Wrong.

Sal15puedes Nov 22, 2019 01:51 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

In order to replace dirty energy which is making our planet less and less hospitable (not to mention historic surges in extinctions which should send a chill up our spines) we need wind solar and a Manhattan Project for renewables. Cats kill far more birds than wind turbines ever will, while fighting wind farms you should also fight outdoor cats, tall buildings and your picture window. It's impossible to produce energy without environmental impact, the idea here is to lessen impact while producing exponentially less CO2's. Until the silent invisible zero impact energy comes along we're going to need solar and wind farms in as many places as feasible, weighing local impact against the tons of CO2's that won't be produced. Stand behind the science and make real change!

a-1575897211 Nov 22, 2019 06:17 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

As I set Out above, wind is especially energy consuming (typically needs lots of coal energy to fabricate as each one uses 2500tons of concrete and 900 tons of steel plus 45 tons of unrecyclable fiberglass that requires a landfill 20yrs later. And of course all the diesel trucks to deliver the goods, truck away broken blades and deliver the workers back and forth for routine and unplanned maintenance. If one wants to be green for climate change purposes, one must make lifecycle calculations. Never mind the birds and bats. https://www.americanexperiment.org/2019/08/argus-leader-sioux-falls-landfill-tightens-rules-minnesota-dumps-dozens-wind-turbine-blades/

sacjon Nov 22, 2019 02:49 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

KOHN1 - and oil doesn't have any "drawbacks?" No need to bash renewables just because of a few issues. ALL energy has pros and cons.

sacjon Nov 22, 2019 02:12 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

KOHN1 - why are you so against renewable energy? Is it because you are worried that renewable energy sources are going to hurt the environment? Is it because you support fossil fuels so intensely that you dislike all competition? Is it because you hate liberals and are just following your party line? What is it?

kohn1 Nov 22, 2019 02:06 PM
Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc

Be sure to find out how windmills & solar panels can be manufactured and installed without using fossil fuels and what the process is to dispose of them when they reach the end of their useful life.

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