Tehachapi Turbine Trouble — Penny Melko was on the program from Tehachapi (she talked about the impacts of replacing small, older turbines with monsters. Are they really less impactful? We also talked about planned future developments in that area and some of the impacts on wildlife.
Wind development in the Tehachapi Pass began in the early 1980s. The area hosts a multitude of wind farms, comprising one of California’s largest wind resource areas. The pass is undergoing much repowering activity. The area has multiple generations of wind turbine technology installed, including both single and double blade turbines, as well as the more modern three blade horizontal axis design. The older generation turbines generate kilowatts, and the modern turbines installed generate up to 3 megawatts, depending on the specific turbine and manufacturer. The Tehachapi wind resource area is a net exporter of generation to other parts of the state of California. A state initiative to upgrade the transmission out of Tehachapi (Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project) began in 2008 and is expected to be completed by 2012. This has opened the door to further regional wind power development and multiple projects are expected to be installed to utilize that capacity.
Tehachapi is also notable for avian issues. It is the most likely area that California condors will be killed and has the world record setting golden eagle killing wind power plant.
Time out in the North East Kingdom of Vermont.
We were pleased to be joined by Kenn Stransky, the president of the Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA). The NVDA just voted, almost unanimously, for a 3-year moratorium on wind development in the north east kingdom (NEK) area. We asked Ken about what this means for the NEK now, what prompted the vote and why it received such strong support.
Regular listeners will recall that State Senator Joe Benning called for a moratorium at the state house during the closing days of the last legislative session. He is planning to do so again when they start back up. Click here to listen to the program where we interviewed Joe.
Lisa and Harley talked about the political messaging of jobs to promote the extension of the Federal production tax credits. Specifically, we talked about the AWEA job numbers that are so fluid. You can read more at Wind Action – Wind energy jobs: Are the numbers pulled from thin air?
The numbers associated with the 1603 grant/subsidy are also quite startling. You can read this congressional report – Where Are the Jobs? – The Elusiveness of Job Creation under the Section 1603 Grant Program for Renewable Energy– and learn why each “green” job is costing taxpayers 1.2 million dollars.
We played some of the audio of the youtube video below during the show. If this wasn’t so serious, you’d think this was a comedy sketch in the same vein as the classic “Who’s on first” Abbott and Costello routine.