Wind Energy Project Approved for Lompoc
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.