Re: wind turbines
- Carl,I am thankful that you are open to dialog with the stakeholders on the task presented to you. The disaster in the gulf has reinforced the Presidents position that we have to increase our green energy production. Federal and state incentives are generous for green energy development. Many new technologies are in the process of being developed.The frustration that many of us here in San Diego county face is the opposition to wind development in an area blessed with great wind potential by some public officials. Sometimes hard decisions must be made for the greater good. A vocal group in east county with a large voting block are hindering our county from developing the God given natural resources available .Why is it necessary to expend so much time and energy to accomplish and follow the proven path to green energy development? Why is litigation or fear of litigation the deciding factor? There are several stake holders very interested in speaking for equality in green energy development and await that opportunity. The CEQA clean air guidelines and water conservation are well served by permitting wind development on an equal footing with solar.Thank you,George
From: "Stiehl, Carl" <Carl.Stiehl@...>
Cc: George M Coladonato <agargentocom@...>
Sent: Thu, May 27, 2010 4:33:42 PM
Subject: RE: wind turbines
Good Afternoon Mr. Belleci,
Solar panels and wind turbines are both considered important sources of renewable energy for residents of San Diego County . However, the frustration being experienced by wind turbine developers both small and large in our county is mainly due to our existing wind turbine sections of our zoning ordinance that have substantial limitations on the size and number of turbines possible for residents to install. That being said, there are not the same limitations on solar panels in the county because specific solar energy sections of the zoning ordinance do not exist. Therefore, there are very few limits on the development of solar because the county wrote wind turbine regulations back in the 1980s and we have not written specific regulations for solar energy.
Now, with Board direction DPLU has undertaken a process to improve and revise the existing wind turbine regulations in the county. Unfortunately, as a result of public review and comments received it appears additional environmental review under CEQA is required for the proposed changes to the wind turbine sections of the zoning ordinance. I am as frustrated by this as any wind turbine developer as my job is to write an ordinance with Board direction and move it forward to hearing as quickly and efficiently as possible in compliance with CEQA.
As an aside, I would comment that the vast majority of solar panels that have been installed within the county in recent years are installed on roofs of permitted buildings and therefore have very few, if any, environmental impacts. However, as you know there are large-scale ground mount projects now proposed in the Borrego Springs area. All of these projects will and do require a Major Use Permit, which has extensive environmental review to determine the impacts of solar panels pursuant to CEQA. This is the same process that any large-scale wind turbine project would require.
In the end, when the zoning ordinance amendments we have started last year for improving and revising our wind turbine regulations have been completed, we hope that the new renewable energy section of the zoning ordinance does have solar and wind energy on an equal footing. However, as I mentioned the existing issues are with the current ordinance, which we are trying to fix.
Land Use Environmental Planner II > Advance Planning
County of San Diego > Department of Planning and Land Use
5201 Ruffin Road | Suite B | San Diego | CA | 92123-1666 | Mail Stop O650
From: p.belleci@... [mailto:p.belleci@...]
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 3:54 PM
To: Stiehl, Carl
Cc: George Coladonato
Subject: wind turbines
Hello Mr. Stiehl,
I have been asked to open a dialogue with you about utilizing wind turbines in eastern San Diego county. My concern is why wind turbines are not considered to be equal or even a better solution than solar panel? Is it the size of them? Wildlife impact? Land Impact?
Wind turbines come in a variety of sizes for different uses. What we are proposing are 4KW and 50KW wind turbines. The 4kw units are relatively small and can be placed on existing or proposed structures. The 50KW units can be mounted on towers of 140' or less so they are not so observable.
Currently, the state of California recognizes that large scale wind turbines are relatively safe for the environment. Limited or no birds are effected and there is some indication of bats being effected by these larger scale turbines. The smaller ones, especially the 4kw VAWT's (Vertical Access Wind Turbines) have none. 3 megawatts of wind turbines will have much less environmental impact than 18 acres of solar panels.True, solar panels have no direct wildlife impact, but what about the shade they create? What plants will grow under them. Without plant life, where will the animals go?
Turbines, being mounted on towers or existing buildings, do not need to cover the same amount of ground as solar panels to generate equivalent energy. Less cement is needed for the foundations. Less ground must be graded for assembly and access. Little ground is covered by the shade of these turbines. Trees, plants, and animals are unaffected by them. Solar panels would permanently effect the ground over which they cover. There will be little or no plants growing under them. No grazing animals.
Wind turbines create more power with less environmental impact than solar panels. They should be treated equally, or better.
Please contact me with any questions or comments.