Livermore – If you’ve been to the Almonds recently, but you may have noticed a significant change – there are fewer wind turbines on the surrounding hills, and some of the rest are much taller.
Over the past four years, 569-year-old turbines have moved up to 500 feet from 23 interstate wind farms in Interstate 580 to 3,400 acres in the north. Tips for their giant rotor knives.
“These wind turbines provide enough clean energy to power 47,000 East Bay homes each year,” said Nick Chasset, East Bay Community Energy CEO, before cutting the ribbon on Friday at the conclusion of a four-year leadership project.
Chasset, for its part, is a “refurbished” wind farm owned by Greenbaker Renewable Energy LLC in New York: a far-fetched future where millions of people will completely avoid renewable energy.
All that pure energy comes at a price, but that’s not all about dollars and coins.
Although the new turbines are not worrying about the number of birds in the area. It is estimated that rotating knives still kill dozens of birds every year, including the golden eagle.
The Almonds Pass is an important breeding ground for eagles, said Glen Phillips, director of the Golden Gate Odobon Association. And although wind farm builders in general are more careful about placing turbines outside of “worst” areas, this is not enough.
A.D. In 2010, several wind farm investors in the Alameda County and Altmont Pass filed lawsuits with several local groups, including the Odubo Association.
Prior to that, hundreds and sometimes more than a thousand birds per year were planted in dozens of turbines on wind farms, including 75 to 110 golden eagles, Phillips said.
According to the settlement, wind farms have agreed to take whatever action is necessary to reduce the annual eagle death toll to 18, although Phillips has sometimes exceeded that number.
If we continue to kill the eagle as we have done, there will be no golden eagle in 50 years. Wind power is important, but there are many other places to develop it.
The County Summit Winds project is expected to reduce the deaths of four key species of birds by 66%, but could actually kill 9% more golden eagles, or about six a year.
According to county documents, more than 20 red-tailed hawks can be killed each week with turbines, about 10 American kebeles, and more than five owls.
Of course, the transaction is pure, efficient.
At its maximum capacity, the 23 turbines will generate 57.5 megawatts of electricity per hour for non-profit East Bay Community Energy customers, serving more than 1.7 million residential and commercial users in 14 cities across Alameda County. . The agency bought the Scott Hagerti Wind Energy Center after a 20-year wind project after a former Alameda County superintendent.
One of more than 20 “Community Choices” programs in California is one of California’s largest renewable energy distribution programs for home and business companies that buy renewable energy and invest in energy companies like PG&E.
The agency currently sends about 41% renewable energy to the grid, but by 2030 the goal is to deliver 100% renewable energy from a mix of projects, mostly wind and solar.
“We need to build thousands of megawatts, many more projects over the next decade, and this is the first project to come online,” he said.
According to county records, all old turbines were removed from the Summit Winds station in 2016 and 2018, and many other turbines have been replaced by new ones over the past decade.
Phillips says the large, slow-moving knives on the new turbines did not significantly reduce bird deaths. Bird killing seems to be closely related to the amount of energy produced, the amount of air “taken” by the figs and how long they run.
“There’s a huge amount of air in the house. They are very efficient killing machines.
Doug Bell, wildlife program manager for the East Bay Regional Park District, on his part said there should be a balance between generating energy in almonds and protecting wildlife as important as eagles.
“They are valuable natural resources. They are part of the great biodiversity in California, ”said Bell. This means that we will probably produce less megawatts in Almonds.
“Everyone, from state and federal wildlife agencies, to county, developers and NGOs, is responsible for our natural resources to meet this responsibility responsibly,” Phillips said. And I don’t think we have done it yet.