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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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.

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."

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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).

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.

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!

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.

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