STATUS: In progress
OPPOSITION: Residents of White Oak Lodge area, Northrop Grumman Co., United States Air Force
BACKGROUND: The developer of the project was Power Partners Southwest, LLC, which is a subsidiary of EnXco Energy. However, in December 2009, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it contracted with Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., to purchase and operate the wind farm. The transition of ownership of the project is unclear.
The proposed PdV Wind Energy Project aka Manzana Wind is located west of the Willow Springs area, north of Rosamond Boulevard and 170th Street West in eastern Kern County, California. If approved, the project would allow for the commercial production of up to 300 MW of electricity from wind turbines. The project could begin producing power by December 2011. The total capital cost of the project will be just over $900 million, which includes payments to Iberdrola Renewables to develop and build the facility, along with other costs that PG&E will incur.
The project has faced opposition from defense contractor Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force. Both said the wind turbines would interfere with the Tejon Test Facility where the B2 Bomber is tested. Northrop Grumman said that the B2 Bomber facility would have to be shut down if the turbines were built. However, in 2008, Power Partners Southwest reached an agreement with Northrop Grumman Company to build the turbines. The turbines are to be built in a phased-in approach to make sure interference with the facility does not occur.
The other major opponents of the project are residents of the White Oak Lodge area. These residents have voiced concerns as to the light pollution, effects on wildlife, and visual degradation of the landscape. Power Partners Southwest, LLC mentioned shielding the red lights on top of the towers and also monitoring bird and bat deaths. However, residents are still concerned because they say other visual degradation effects have not been addressed.
Manzana Wind Project: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/EFILE/EXP/113691.pdf;
Renewable Energy World: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/12/pg-e-to-purchase-operate-246-mw-manzana-wind-project;
Kern County EIR: http://www.co.kern.ca.us/planning/pdfs/eirs/PdV/PdV_Ch_03.pdf
Last updated November 8, 2010