For Release: Feb. 1, 2007
Contact: Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332
Energy Companies Study Wind Energy Potential in Northeast California
Interest in generating electricity from the wind is increasing in Northeast California. Several companies are in varying stages of discussion with the U. S. Bureau of Land Management for permits to install wind data collection equipment, but no wind energy projects have been proposed or approved.
“No company has yet presented the BLM with a plan to develop a wind energy facility on the public lands in northeast California or far northwest Nevada,” said Dayne Barron, manager of the BLM’s Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville. “Our Northeast California field offices have granted several rights of way allowing companies to install meteorological towers to collect wind data. Some companies have installed the towers and others indicate they may install equipment this year.”
Barron said CMS Energy Generation of Jackson, Mich., has reported good results from wind testing at Shaffer Mountain, about 20 miles east of Susanville. In public briefings earlier this month, the company indicated it might submit a development plan to the BLM later this year. Additionally, Invenergy, a company from Littleton, Colo., has indicated that it may this winter seek rights of way for meteorological towers and submit a wind energy development proposal for public lands near Horse Lake, about 15 miles north of Susanville.
“If we receive plans of development, we will begin a comprehensive environmental review of the proposed projects,” he said. “The BLM will provide ample opportunities for public review and comment before any decisions are made.”
Other companies have installed meteorological towers on BLM-managed public land on Spanish Springs Peak southeast of Ravendale, and in the Cottonwood Mountains east of Dodge Reservoir.
Additionally, companies have secured rights of way and are proposing to install data-collecting towers on Antelope Mountain immediately north of Susanville, on Observation Mountain southeast of Ravendale, near the south end of the Warner Mountains, at Rocky Prairie south of Alturas, and in the Hayes Canyon and Duck Flat areas southeast of Cedarville.
Meteorological towers are thin structures, usually 150 to 165-feet tall. They hold instruments to measure wind speed and direction and other weather-related information. They are usually removed after testing.
Wind generation facilities consist of windmill-mounted electrical generators, underground and overhead power lines and substations to transfer electricity to the power grid.
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