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Credit score:  California renewable energy battle: Counties push again |

By Julie Cart |

CalMatters |

August 4, 2022 |

Kings County Supervisor Joe Neves guided his pickup to a cease subsequent to an extended line of chain-link fencing. On one aspect of a gravel street stood row after row of glinting {solar} panels. The automated mirrors pivot and switch, following the solar in its each day path throughout the Central Valley sky.

Neves, a giant man with a wispy Santa Claus beard, was exhibiting off the county’s latest mega {solar} energy undertaking, nonetheless beneath building on 1,600 acres. A state-of-the-art facility, it contains highly effective batteries to retailer and ship energy after the solar units.

This {solar} plant in King County is likely one of the scores of recent renewable energy puzzle items throughout the state thought-about important to California’s transition to cleaner electrical energy and its pursuit of local weather change options.

Rural California counties like Kings – with plenty of land, sunshine and wind – are the point of interest for a lot of of those initiatives. Now they’re on the epicenter of a statewide controversy, too.

Final month, Gov. Gavin Newsom pressured lawmakers to approve an energy plan that aimed to expedite and streamline building of recent clear energy services. Included is a controversial clause that lets builders bypass native allowing and as a substitute flip to the California Energy Fee for fast-track approval.

The brand new technique is an finish run round native authorities who typically balk at permitting wind and {solar} services in their very own backyards.

But when Newsom sees small, rural counties as impediments, Kings County begs to vary. Neves and different native officers have been busily opening up their county to {solar} initiatives for greater than a dozen years.

Removed from scoffing on the thought of renewable energy, some Kings County farmers have embraced {solar} era as a worthwhile downside solver – they receives a commission for using their barren land and might switch the water to higher-value crops.

Regardless of the intent of the brand new regulation, Kings County doesn’t suppose it’s the issue: Most initiatives within the county’s 40,000-acre {solar} zone obtain approval in lower than six months – in some circumstances in six weeks, county officers say.

“We aren’t unsophisticated, we all know what we’re doing,” Neves stated. “We deliberate for this. We will see the long run.”

Throughout the state, native officers had been miffed at state officers for being excluded from the dialogue because the regulation was being crafted behind closed doorways in late June, then piqued once more after it handed the Legislature and was signed by Newsom, which means they not had the ultimate say-so for initiatives of their counties.

“Native governments are seen as an obstacle, one other layer you need to undergo to get your undertaking throughout the end line. However we allow these services on a regular basis. It’s one of many core capabilities we carry out as native authorities,” stated John Kennedy, a lobbyist for Rural County Representatives of California, which advocates for 39 small counties.

“To have that authority taken out of our palms and given to the Energy Fee – that a lot farther from the folks, that a lot faraway from native sensitivity – to have that authority clawed again is absolutely painful,” he stated. “We’re within the crosshairs, however we don’t suppose we’re the precise goal right here.”

Whereas a couple of initiatives have been stalled by native officers, some energy builders stated Newsom’s initiative is an answer looking for an issue.

“What is that this proposal fixing for?” stated Alex Jackson, director of California state affairs for American Clear Energy, an affiliation of renewable energy firms.

“Generally we work rather well with native authorities. We’ve got invested lots in these relationships. We favor to work with them moderately than strong-arm them. Total we don’t see this as unlocking the trail to accelerating clear energy.”

In his signing assertion connected to the brand new invoice, Newsom stated the unprecedented tempo of local weather change means California should transfer quicker to scale back its dependence on fossil fuels. The state should start producing 50% extra clear energy within the subsequent decade in an effort to meet its targets.

The brand new regulation, Newsom wrote, will “assist and expedite the State’s transition to wash energy initiatives and assist preserve energy reliability within the face of local weather change.” The fast-track choice by way of the Energy Fee guarantees builders a choice inside 270 days and bypasses native approval.

The brand new technique, Newsom wrote, will assist maintain the lights on when demand peaks from excessive warmth and drought, that are placing “unprecedented stress” on the state’s energy grid. “Motion is required now,” he stated.

Kings County: A chief place for producing energy

Kings County, inhabitants 152,486 and residential to Hanford and Kettleman Metropolis, is well-situated to host renewable energy initiatives: It’s on the nexus of main north-south and east-west transmission strains and its energy crops can readily dispatch electrical energy to the grid.

{Solar} initiatives already constructed on Kings County’s fallowed farmland are serving to energy Disneyland, and the most recent growth, known as Slate {Solar} and Storage, will provide about 900 megawatts of electrical energy when it’s completed. Some will go to 2 Bay Space powerhouses: The BART transportation community and Stanford College.

Occupying former watermelon, cotton and corn fields fallowed by drought, builders are constructing {solar} farms in Kings County as quick because the world’s crippled provide chain will permit. To expedite the method, native planning officers created {solar} energy zones which have already been absolutely vetted and undergone complete environmental evaluation.

The county has greater than 21,000 acres of {solar} growth, and the land, principally non-public property, is leased or bought outright to firms.

Confronted with quickly rising energy prices, college districts and cities are investing in their very own small-scale {solar} initiatives, Neves stated, as have farmers searching for low cost methods to pump water and run tools.

“A humongous process”

Whether or not funneled by way of the Energy Fee’s new course of or authorized by native authorities, new renewable energy growth must come quick.

Though California is effectively forward of its interim targets for clear energy – about 34% of its era final yr – attending to carbon-free by 2045 shall be a problem of the very best order.

With worsening local weather fashions, electrification of transportation and buildings, the drought-driven crash in hydroelectric energy, and the scheduled closure of fossil-fuel energy crops, the sobering actuality in California is that this: At present charges the state will produce 40 gigawatts of unpolluted energy yearly over the subsequent decade, whereas preliminary projections present it wants 60 gigawatts a yr – at a minimal.

The necessity, given how quickly demand is rising, is more likely to enhance.

“It’s a humongous process,” stated Siva Gunda, vice chair of the California Energy Fee. “We’ve had 100 years to construct the grid the way in which it’s immediately and we’re redoing it within the subsequent 20 years. Not less than now we have a plan. We’re digging ourselves out of a gap.”

The scope of what’s required means California might want to tremendously develop its renewable footprint. With the obvious and least expensive websites already developed, the way in which ahead shall be achieved one sunny, windy acre at a time.

Consultants say residents can count on to see energy growth in elements of California the place {solar} panels and wind generators haven’t but sprouted. That growth is more likely to problem the hospitality of rural communities and their elected leaders, particularly after they really feel excluded from the method.

Such pushback will not be sudden. Analysis printed in June discovered that when native teams consider they don’t seem to be consulted on renewable energy initiatives of their communities, they push again arduous. The researchers concluded that one of the simplest ways to get native buy-in is to take heed to native voices.

Though the state regulation is new and its implications not but absolutely understood, Jackson stated the early message is “loud and clear from my builders: They wish to proceed with the native course of. The (Energy Fee) route will not be that engaging. While you unpack the proposal, it appears to fall quick.”

Some native representatives predicted a cascade of lawsuits from native authorities will observe. The regulation “created an enemy of native authorities and should unhelpfully exacerbate current (anti-Sacramento) sentiment,” Jackson stated.

Native pockets of resistance

Just a few California counties are firmly in opposition to some renewable initiatives: In 2015 Los Angeles County banned wind generators in unincorporated areas such because the Antelope Valley and Santa Monica Mountains.

And three years in the past, San Bernardino, the state’s largest county, outlawed {solar} and wind farms on greater than one million acres in unincorporated communities the place industrialization is deemed incompatible.

Residents feared building disturbance and mud, and expressed extra aesthetic considerations, stated David Wert, spokesman for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

“People that dwell in these small communities don’t wish to get up and have a look at a big {solar} farm out their window,” he stated.

Not-in-my-backyard sentiment led to the rejection of two initiatives in Humboldt and Lake counties.

With wind generators, “there’s a visibility challenge. ‘If I can see it, I don’t need it.’ It’s not distinctive to California or any of those rural counties,” stated Mark Lawlor, vp for growth at ConnectGEN, a Texas-based renewable energy developer,

The difficulty additionally drove the latest denial of ConnectGEN’s Fountain Wind undertaking in Shasta County, which was proposed to go in on a excessive ridge adjoining to an current wind undertaking. Native opposition ran the gamut, from considerations in regards to the views to fears that tall generators would make it unimaginable for air tankers to battle fires on surrounding mountains.

Lawlor stated undertaking managers made 76 modifications to the plan, together with decreasing the generators’ peak and shifting them from essentially the most seen places. He stated the undertaking would improve hearth security by clearing vegetation round roads and the generators. It had the potential to energy greater than 86,000 houses, in keeping with the corporate.

“The advantages to the county can be overwhelming, hundreds of thousands of {dollars} infused to the economic system, police, jobs and property tax,” Lawlor stated. The corporate donated $3 million to native organizations, a standard technique amongst renewable builders to achieve favor in communities.

“We might rent native labor, we did all the things I may provide you with. We are actually constructing Part 2 of an current wind undertaking that’s been there working safely for 10 years,” he stated.

Nonetheless, the event bumped into fierce opposition, together with from environmental teams. The wind farm would have been within the district of Shasta County Supervisor Mary Rickert, who known as it “ugly” and stated it was silly for the developer to attempt to website its generators on the ridge. “I don’t know what they had been pondering,” she stated.

After denying the allow, the supervisors thought-about imposing a moratorium on wind energy techniques in some elements of the county. The board despatched the proposal again to the planning fee “to place extra meat on its bones,” Rickert stated. She stated if the moratorium proposal returns to the board, will probably be handed.

Rickert stated the pushback within the area has nothing to do with opposition to renewable energy. And as for doing its half to assist the state obtain its clean-energy targets, she famous the county’s contribution to hydroelectric energy: “We’ve obtained Shasta Dam.”

Nancy Rader, government director of the California Wind Energy Affiliation, stated she understands the considerations of native teams however stated they must be balanced in opposition to the crucial to construct clean-energy initiatives.

“There’s a mismatch between statewide targets and leaving these selections to native communities,” she stated. “Some individuals are being left behind. Deprived communities are struggling tremendously from fossil gasoline impacts, after which now we have different individuals who can’t deal with a wind turbine of their viewshed. We’ve got to maintain the relative impacts in thoughts.”

The concept opposition to renewables follows a political, red-blue divide doesn’t play out throughout the state. Conservative Kern and Riverside counties are “built-out” Rader stated. Kern, for a century the state’s supplier of fossil fuels, has intensive renewable energy initiatives.

What Kern County officers and others balk at, although, is a statewide regulation that exempts {solar} initiatives from property taxes, denying native governments operational money. Neves, from Kings County, estimates the {solar} tax break prices his area some $3 million a yr. The regulation is ready to sundown in 2025 however an analogous measure is making its approach by way of the Legislature. (Wind initiatives aren’t provided related tax breaks.)

However moderately than offering a bonus for {solar} initiatives, the tax exemption establishes a disincentive for native jurisdictions to approve the initiatives, stated

Catherine Freeman, legislative staffer for the California State Affiliation of Counties. “These property taxes pay for primary county authorities,” she stated.

Gunda of the Energy Fee stated the state established a process power final yr to higher perceive the broad obstacles to ramping up renewable initiatives. Its work continues to be underway however Gunda stated there have been important building delays from COVID-19 and provide chain breakdowns.

Nevertheless the brand new regulation performs out, the urgency is clear, stated Shannon Eddy, government director of the Massive Scale {Solar} Affiliation. She stated county and state officers and energy builders ought to construct a statewide mannequin to assist easy the method of siting new energy crops.

“It’s neither truthful nor right to level to the counties and say therein lies the issue,” she stated. “Everybody wants to assist. Everybody wants to come back collectively to make this occur. We’re constructing the airplane because it’s operating down the runway.”

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Wind turbine catches fire, collapses after storms move through Custer County



Swiss wind park ordered to scale back to protect birds

Credit score:  Wind Turbine Catches Hearth, Collapses After Storms Transfer By Custer County |

Information 9 |

Wednesday, August tenth 2022 |

OKLAHOMA CITY – A wind turbine in Custer County was practically dropped at the bottom after it caught hearth throughout a storm on Tuesday afternoon.

The turbine was situated close to State Freeway 47 and North 2300 Highway.

Information 9 Storm Tracker Jeromy Carter was on the scene whereas crews assessed the harm.

At the moment, it’s unclear how the turbine caught hearth or if anybody was injured.

It is a growing story, stick with Information 9 for the most recent updates.

Supply:  Wind Turbine Catches Hearth, Collapses After Storms Transfer By Custer County |

Information 9 |

Wednesday, August tenth 2022 |

This text is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it will not be essentially these of Nationwide Wind Watch.

The copyright of this text resides with the writer or writer indicated. As a part of its noncommercial effort to current the environmental, social, scientific, and financial problems with large-scale wind energy growth to a worldwide viewers in search of such data, Nationwide Wind Watch endeavors to look at “fair use” as offered for in part 107 of U.S. Copyright Regulation and comparable “truthful dealing” provisions of the copyright legal guidelines of different nations. Ship requests to excerpt, common inquiries, and feedback via e-mail.


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Sunrise Wind Trains New York Workers for Wind Energy Construction Careers



Sunrise Wind

Sunrise Wind is committing $300,000 to recruit and prepare staff in Albany’s South Finish neighborhood for union development careers essential to New York’s clear energy transition. This system represents a strategic partnership with the Center for Economic Growth. Dawn Wind is a three way partnership offshore wind challenge between Ørsted and Eversource. This announcement demonstrates Ørsted and Eversource’s dedication to supporting job creation in deprived communities, a key tenant of New York state’s nation-leading Local weather Management and Neighborhood Safety Act.

The funding comes from the $1 million Higher Hudson Workforce Improvement Fund created by the Dawn Wind challenge and might be used to fund the Multi-Craft Apprenticeship Preparation Program (M.A.P.P.), a pre-apprenticeship program that recruits and trains staff for unionized development apprenticeships. M.A.P.P. goals to recruit low-income and staff of shade from the Capital Area, offering a path to family-sustaining careers whereas bringing extra variety to the constructing trades. The brand new funding will cowl pay, coaching and emergency monetary wants for program individuals, who will enroll over the course of 2022 and 2023. With this assist, 15-20 individuals will enroll in 2022 and one other 15-20 in 2023.

“The M.A.P.P. apprenticeship program will present new alternatives for underserved New Yorkers to not solely entry good-paying union jobs, but in addition to make a distinction of their setting,” says Lieutenant Gov. Antonio Delgado. “Offshore wind is powering our future, serving to us attain our clear energy objectives and offering steady careers for many who have been underrepresented within the workforce.”

In shut partnership with the Larger Capital Area Constructing & Building Trades Council, M.A.P.P. gives certified, candidates a chance to achieve coaching and expertise that can allow them to efficiently navigate a union development apprenticeship program. This program gives structured work- and classroom-based studying that may propel apprentices into lengthy, steady careers with family-sustaining wages and advantages. M.A.P.P. was based in Rochester, N.Y. and not too long ago started operations in Albany’s South Finish neighborhood.

“This announcement is a essential milestone in growing our rising New York State offshore wind workforce and one other key step in guaranteeing that constructing our green financial system means delivering advantages to communities which have been traditionally left behind,” feedback Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “This funding within the Capital Area is one other invaluable contribution from Ørsted and Eversource and can assist to construct a pipeline of expertise for the family-sustaining jobs that can permit our clear energy financial system to thrive.”

After being accepted to this system, individuals will first work in paid positions underneath expert supervision to rehabilitate properties and different group websites to develop their commerce expertise earlier than enrolling in M.A.P.P. for extra expert classroom-based training. After graduating, individuals are provided “direct entry,” a New York State Division of Labor facilitated pathway to sought-after union apprenticeship packages.

“Ørsted is investing in a home provide chain and workforce growth to speed up the offshore wind business in the USA,” feedback Jennifer Garvey, head of New York market technique at Ørsted. “Dawn Wind will create lots of of alternatives for union tradespeople in New York, and we’re proud to accomplice with organizations like CEG, M.A.P.P. and the Larger Capital Area Constructing & Building Trades Council to make sure that extra staff have entry to the coaching and profession pathways wanted to contribute to this new clear energy business whereas incomes a dwelling wage.”

Dawn Wind would require lots of of expert staff to construct and set up the challenge, together with the development of superior basis parts and different work on the Port of Coeymans. The challenge will enter negotiations with New York State contractors and commerce labor organizations on a challenge labor settlement to cowl development actions for Dawn Wind and is dedicated to paying prevailing wages.

“Making certain that our area’s staff are capable of profit from the well-paying, union jobs that Dawn Wind will create is a essential a part of our mission,” says Andrea Bonilla, senior outreach specialist for offshore wind at Eversource Energy. “We’re thrilled to announce that as a part of that effort, we are going to present lots of of hundreds of {dollars} to assist the recruitment and coaching of extra union development staff in New York’s Capital Area. These staff will play a pivotal position within the transition to a brand new, clear energy financial system as we proceed to ship on our promise to broaden financial alternative all through the state.”

The announcement is considered one of many commitments already being acknowledged for New York staff and companies as a part of the Dawn Wind challenge. Final 12 months, Ørsted and Eversource signed an $86 million provide chain contract with Riggs Distler & Firm, Inc. to assemble superior basis parts for wind generators on the Port of Coeymans, and the challenge will supply enterprise growth and employment alternatives from Western New York to the East Finish of Lengthy Island.

“Offshore wind is creating a brand new business within the Capital Area. Ørsted and Eversource are enjoying a significant position not solely in launching this business right here, but in addition, by their funding for the Multi-Craft Apprenticeship Preparation Program, they’re making a extra inclusive and expert workforce,” states Katie Newcombe, CEG’s CEO. “CEG is proud to accomplice with Ørsted and Eversource in administering the funding for the Higher Hudson Workforce Fund and its first award to M.A.P.P.”

Dawn Wind might be one of many largest U.S. offshore wind farms and positioned greater than 30 miles east of Montauk Level, interconnecting to the grid in Brookhaven, N.Y. The 924 MW challenge will generate sufficient clear energy to energy practically 600,000 New York properties and is anticipated to be operational in 2025.

“Our coaching works due to companions like Ørsted and Eversource. These funds will be certain that aspiring development staff within the Capital Area can present for themselves and their households whereas they put together to affix union apprenticeship packages,” speaks Kereem Berry, govt director of M.A.P.P., Inc. “And on the similar time, their prioritizing deprived communities within the development of wind turbine parts will give M. A. P. P. individuals sturdy footholds from which to launch lengthy careers within the union development business.”

Learn the total launch, together with extra quotes by elected officers here.

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Iberdrola Begins Construction of East Anglia Three Offshore Wind Project



Iberdrola Begins Construction of East Anglia Three Offshore Wind Project

Iberdrola has begun development within the U.Ok. of the East Anglia Three offshore wind farm, which can have a capability of 1,400 MW, sufficient to produce 1.3 million houses with clear energy, greater than the populations of Liverpool and Glasgow mixed.

This new facility, positioned off the coast of Norfolk, close to the London metropolitan space, will type a part of the East Anglia Hub macro-complex, along with the longer term East Anglia One North and East Anglia Two developments. This hub is the Iberdrola group’s largest initiative for this know-how on the planet and can contain an funding of £6.5 billion (round €7.7 billion) for the set up of three,000 MW, which represents 6% of the 50 GW offshore wind energy goal set by the U.Ok. authorities for 2030.

The brand new farm is along with the one already operated by the corporate via its subsidiary ScottishPower in the identical space, referred to as East Anglia One, with 714 MW, able to producing renewable energy for 630,000 British houses.

Building work on this plant, which is predicted to begin manufacturing in 2025, has begun on the bottom. The preliminary part will deal with the set up within the county of Suffolk, in collaboration with Siemens, of the onshore substation that can join the park to the Nationwide Grid electrical energy grid and the cable route, awarded to NKT.

East Anglia Three will cowl an space of as much as 305 sq. kilometers and would require the set up of greater than 100 new technology wind generators, which will likely be as much as 247 meters excessive, the equal of two and a half occasions the scale of Massive Ben (96 meters).

This main electrical energy infrastructure may even embrace 4 offshore substations, an offshore platform to accommodate the operations lodging and 4 submarine cables for exporting the energy produced by the wind farm, positioned 69 kilometers offshore, to the coast.

The development of the East Anglia hub will present a major increase to the U.Ok. and European offshore wind provide chain and can create as much as 7,000 jobs.


East Anglia Three will turn out to be the corporate’s seventh offshore wind farm in operation. The group has already commissioned West of Duddon Sands (195 MW) within the Irish Sea, Wikinger (350 MW) in German waters of the Baltic Sea and East Anglia ONE.

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