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White Oak Wind Energy Project, CA

STATUS: In progress with opposition

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Residents of Lake Hughes, Elizabeth Lake, and Leona Valley; Leona Valley Town Council, Lakes and Valleys Conservancy

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND: The White Oak Wind Energy Project is located near  Lake Hughes, California.  It includes 70 wind turbines and is estimated to cost a total of $630 million. The project was anticipated to begin in 2012 and take up to 7 months to build.  The turbines have an operational lifetime of 25 and 30 years.  The developer of the project is White Oak Wind Farm, LLC., which is a subsidiary of Advanced Development Services, LLC.  These turbines will generate 210 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 245,000 homes in Los Angeles County.

Construction will create approximately 185 local jobs.  Once the turbines are complete, 7 to 10 permanent jobs will exist to maintain the structures, and an additional 7 to 12 permanent indirect jobs will be created. 

Local residents from Lake Hughes, Elizabeth Lake, and Leona Valley oppose the project. These residents have expressed concern regarding the “visual blight” of the project. They are also worried about the “spiderweb of power lines and towers” that would cross Leona Valley.
The Lakes and Valleys Conservancy has expressed concern for many endangered or threatened birds in the area.  Most recently, a tri-colored blackbird brought biologists from all over the state.  A member of the Leona Valley Town Council has suggested that residents take pictures of such important species to prove their existence and importance.

Currently, the White Oak Wind Energy Project’s application for a conditional-use permit is stalled because not enough information was provided in the document.

SOURCES: Antelope Valley Press: Accessed http://www.windaction.org/news/21038;
Advanced Development Services: http://advanceddevelopmentsite.com/docs/White_Oak_On_Line.pdf

Last updated November 8, 2010