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Plug Pulled on Wind Farm

Lompoc Project’s Parent Company Cites Conflicting Priorities


Thursday, July 11, 2013
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After nearly a decade of planning and approvals and one pesky lawsuit, the much-ballyhooed Lompoc wind farm is dead. In a statement sent out late last week by Acciona Energy, the parent company behind the alternative-energy project, spokesperson Peter Gray announced that Acciona will not be moving forward with the wind farm despite having all of the proper permits in place. “While the area has great potential for clean energy generation, the best decision for our business is to focus on the development of other U.S. and global projects in the company’s pipeline,” said Gray.

First floated in 2006, the project aimed to put more than 60 turbines on some 2,900 acres of private property leased from a half-dozen different landowners just south of Lompoc near San Miguelito Road. Had it been realized, the farm would have been the first of its kind in Santa Barbara County and could have generated enough juice to power 30,000 homes annually. Lamenting the news, 3rd District County Supervisor Doreen Farr offered, “I still think it is a great project and a perfect location. … I’m hopeful that some other enterprising company will come along, pick it up, and move it forward in the future.”

Pressed for further insight into why his company decided to dash its wind-farm dreams, especially after receiving critical permit extensions from the county earlier this year, Gray explained that it came down to “internal priorities” for the Spain-based company. Gray scoffed at the suggestion that the repeated ​— ​and consistently denied ​— ​appeals of the project by the Bedford family, who live close to a handful of the proposed turbine sites, or the federal government’s soon-to-expire Production Tax Credit for alternative-energy projects had anything to do with Acciona’s decision. Pointing to two large projects currently in the pipes in Chile and Poland, Gray offered simply, “[Lompoc] just wasn’t the highest priority for us. Unfortunately, you just can’t do everything.”

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Too bad but look on the not-so-bright side, how about a non-glare Solar farm with sun-following solar panels that are non-reflective and reset themselves after the evening sun sets itself? The panels can be at minimal two feet from the ground and can track the Suns movement while using a one hundredth of the power collected, just an idea for an enterprising person to make a couple hundred thousand a month.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 11:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Another casualty of the regulations one faces in Santa Barbara County and California?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 3:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This will hurt the ranchers who were seeking an additional revenue stream needed to keep the suburbs and ranchettes from further destroying SB.

Also Acciona Energy is based in Madrid and the Spanish economy has really been hurting. They probably had to cut their losses and focus on projects with less resistance.

As for solar farms, my opinion is that the state should lease out the California aqueduct right of way for a up to 700 mile long solar farm. Including putting concrete lids over the aqueduct channels to reduce evaporation. The lease revenue should go straight to the state's debt load (wishful thinking)

passagerider (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 6:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

billclausen and passagerider, didn't you notice this: " ... despite having all of the proper permits in place."

The permitting process was complete and a sunk cost. That did not play a role. My guess is that this was just too small potatoes; that their limited capital had the potential for greater returns elsewhere.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 12:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is Horse@#$%#$. With all that is going on in the mid east, good luck with your gas tanks.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 2:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Damn I hate agreeing with spirit.
And part of the reason that Spain will end up bankrupt, in addition to acting like my home country(except that Italy actually has an industrial complex), is that Spain and Portugal leveraged their entire economies around massive land grabs, infrastructures, and solar installations that were not economically sustainable. Gosh, we need Tam Hunt to explain why this is not true and that in reality solar has been a wild success and the rest of us are just too stupid to understand how economically viable the smoke and mirrors really are...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 6:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The US will be the major producer of oil in the world very soon, thanks to new discoveries and new recovery techniques. California alone has more oil than Saudi Arabia and sooner or later it will be produced. The need for alternatives will then make even less economic sense than it does now, and the Middle East can pound sand (pun intentional).

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 8:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I am a big fan of alternative energy production and I also think that wind farms are pretty cool looking. But wind farms are not as benign as most people think. They produce turbulence and "wind shadows" that have the capability of changing weather patterns and ground temperatures much the same way a mountain range does.

Ryansbca (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 10:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Uhm hello global warming and the fact we've reached peak oil a long time ago necessitates we foiund alternative sources for eneregy and now. How stupid to think otheriwise no matter how much oil Cali has over the Saudis or how racist "John Locke" is."

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 12:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

For gawdsakes KV, I love alternative energy; especially when these technologies are viable and do not cripple our economy. Simply stating we will use them does not make them practical. If folks really cared about cleaning up our tailpipes we would be moving rapidly to natural gas as a bridge technology. We would lower our pollutants and free ourselves from the other oil producers without screwing up an already morbid economy.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 6:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sounds like a good plan to me. We will always need oil for one use or another, but if we can wean ourselves off of wasting it and destroying our planet in the process, that'd be a good thing. There IS a finite amount.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 7:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As long as these technologies are viable financially, it's worthwhile pursuing them. We've been keeping ethanol alive for years only for political purposes.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 6:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

y'all realize if we have socialized oil right? We subsidize the industry and then make them the richest people on the planet by having to pay for it twice. Gee golly if only it wasn't so profitable.

spacey (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 11:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"... California alone has more oil than Saudi Arabia and sooner or later it will be produced...."
-- JohnLocke

I sincerely hope not. If that does happen, the denizens of planet Earth are in for a VERY rude awakening.

SezMe (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 8:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Just because I drank all my friend's soda and I still have a half full cup, doesn't mean that soda is good for my health or in infinite supply.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 9:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Since the beginning of human civilization up until about 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained about 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide. The planet currently has about 400 parts per million CO2 – and this number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year. The Arctic is sending us a message that climate change is occurring much more rapidly than scientists previously thought, although things like Katrina, Sandy, fires in Australia, etc. are also sending a few messages that you don't need scientists to tell you there's something wrong going on. In order to stay at 400 pmm (not even thinking of reducing it) we'll need to leave 70% of all fossil fuels in the ground... it's nice to see the subsidized oil companies making insane profits when they don't have to pay the environmental cost of climate change...

lostinsb (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 9:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Go punch a shark

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 9:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Go punch a shark"
Our pod are on the way to clear out the sharks.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 10:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Spirit... show us all the dates where CO2 levels in the atmosphere were above 300ppm when humans roamed the earth... good luck... cuz you wont... sure, there probably were times in the Earth's history when CO2 levels were above 350ppm, but you wont find them in the ice cores (dating back before humans inhabited the earth)... the only time 350ppm of CO2 was in the atmosphere, there were no humans... should we all just buy stock in the big oil companies and put our heads in the sand?

lostinsb (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2013 at 9:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Humans produce CO2 and there are a heck of a lot more of them today all over this planet than 10,000 years ago. Plants love C02 - the more CO2, the more vegetation that thrives and feeds this exponentially growing human population. The world will adapt. Always has.

Of course glaciers are melting faster as they historically get smaller. This is a given of physics; not evil people on this planet. Visit Alaska and the rangers tell you some glaciers are melting and others are growing.

Still not clear why this need for a global warming hair shirt. For every loss of an arctic ice berg, there is also another one growing in the antarctic. This whole frenzy strikes one as the zealotry of old time religion, original sin, fire, brimstone and banishment for blasphemy.

Learn to live and learn to love global warming, if indeed this is happening. It is not always a bad thing to create a climate that reduces the need to burn anything to keep people warm. Turn off your A/C too once you realize how much hot air you are putting out into the atmosphere by your own volition.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 9:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you Dr. Strangehate.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 10:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You both are morons who deserve each other.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 10:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Then we have people who babble like morons, and pontificate the pomposity of petty dictators.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Only corporate harlots, and narcissistic idiots deny the causes and outcomes of climate change.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 11:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I would but I'm keeping my promise not to waste my time with crazy people.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 11:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

hey, I like that "corporate harlots, and narcissistic idiots"...and spirit, you're way out of line, YOU hijack these threads.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 1:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

True. Spirittugmuscle tugs threads all day long. Anybody who wanks this long should be paid.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 3:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

HItler. There, I said it, "Hitler". According to Godwin's Law, this thread it over. Before the plug gets pulled on it, I thought the fact that air conditioners no longer used CFC's meant that they weren't contributing to global warming.

Could there be a Luddite conspiracy here?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 4:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Chlorofluorocarbons haven't been used since the 80s I believe.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 5:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Suffer through the 40 second intro and then you get to the song. (Or advance it to the 40 second mark) It's a beautiful tribute to a poor monorchad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM7pJG...

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 6:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll put that one on my speed dial Dolphin!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2013 at 6:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Adolphin a musical tribute about his missing...you know.

SpiroTWalker (anonymous profile)
July 16, 2013 at 3:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)