September 7, 2010
Increasing the amount of electricity we get from renewable sources such as the sun and wind is a national priority and a state mandate. Among the many obstacles to getting that done — opposition to new transmission lines, worries that solar plants will harm endangered species, conflicts over land use — one has until recently remained largely off the public radar screen. But the radar screen is precisely the problem: Wind farms interfere with commercial and military radar systems.
July 27, 2010 |
It's being called the largest wind power project in the country, with plans for thousands of acres of towering turbines in the Mojave Desert foothills generating electricity for 600,000 homes in Southern California. And now it's finally kicking into gear. The multibillion-dollar Alta Wind Energy Center has had a tortured history, stretching across nearly a decade of ownership changes, opposition from local residents and transmission infrastructure delays. But on Tuesday, the project is officially breaking ground in the Tehachapi Pass, a burgeoning hot spot for wind energy about 75 miles north of Los Angeles.
April 28, 2010 |
The Obama administration has approved a long-delayed, highly controversial offshore wind project off Cape Cod, Mass., the Interior Department said Wednesday morning. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is set to announce Wednesday afternoon in Boston the decision to grant federal permits to the Cape Wind project. Cape Wind proposes to string 130 turbines in Massachusetts' scenic Nantucket Sound and supply the majority of the power on Cape Cod and nearby islands. In a decade-long fight, the project has divided Massachusetts politicians, earned objections from the Kennedy family and most recently drawn opposition from Native American tribes.
March 26, 2010 |
The Wampanoag Indians of southeastern Massachusetts welcomed the Pilgrims when they arrived on the Mayflower nearly 400 years ago. But now they're trying to stop another newcomer -- wind turbines. Citing customs and religious practices recorded since the earliest contact with Europeans, two local tribes have blocked, at least for now, America's first planned offshore wind farm and the Obama administration's efforts to promote renewable sources of energy. At issue is a private developer's plan to erect 130 wind turbine generators on a sandy shoal in the middle of Nantucket Sound, the scenic channel between Cape Cod and the resort islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
November 2, 2009 |
Each spring, sage grouse gather on their "lekking" grounds to engage in a cacophonous courtship ritual. Males inflate large orange air sacs on their chests and boom out eerie calls to attendant females, sounding like a bizarre orchestra of distant foghorns. The song was once familiar across the Great Basin, but in recent decades, cattle grazing, oil and gas exploration and the spread of invasive species have put a huge dent in sage grouse habitat. Now wind power development is adding another threat.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2009 |
In an effort to tap one of the high desert's most abundant resources, Palmdale is allowing large shopping centers and business parks to install small wind turbines in their parking lots to save on electricity costs. Civic leaders in the Antelope Valley have taken a variety of steps in recent years to harness and adapt to the region's vast supplies of sun and wind. In Lancaster, hundreds of acres of desert landscape will be used for a huge bed of solar-thermal panels. Both Palmdale and Lancaster have taken steps to ban new lawns to help conserve water.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 2009 |
One of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's recently departed advisors has secured a job handling renewable energy business for an international law firm. The mayor's former deputy chief of staff, Dan Grunfeld, 49, is taking a position with the law firm of Kaye Scholer and will work in its Los Angeles office representing clients in such fields as green technology, alternative energy and compliance with environmental laws. Villaraigosa has promised to make Los Angeles "the greenest big city in America" by pushing the Department of Water and Power toward more solar, wind and geothermal energy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2009 |
A business venture led by a friend and advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outmaneuvered the city last year to buy land in Kern County that the Department of Water and Power wanted for a wind farm. The purchase of Onyx Ranch, which covers nearly 68,000 acres east of Bakersfield, highlights the dual roles played by J. Ari Swiller, an entrepreneur whose field, renewable energy, has received a significant boost from the mayor's pledge to make Los Angeles "the greenest big city in America."
August 28, 2009 |
Reporting from Martha'S Vineyard, Mass., and Washington -- For at least one more summer, vacationers on Martha's Vineyard won't be able to gaze across the water and see, far off on the horizon, the churning blades of offshore wind turbines -- no matter how badly the island's most famous current vacationer would like. President Obama, now summering on the Massachusetts island with his family, is still at least a year away from seeing turbines take root anywhere off the U.S. coast, even though his administration promised to make offshore wind a priority and developers are lining up to string wind farms up and down the Atlantic seaboard.
July 12, 2009
Ayear ago the Oracle of Oil, T. Boone Pickens, reinvented himself as the Wizard of Wind, launching a $58-million ad campaign to boost alternative energy and vowing to spend $10 billion to build the world's largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle. It was a startling move from a staunch conservative who had made a fortune in the Texas oil fields, raising hopes that both ends of the political spectrum were coming around to the same point of view about weaning the country from its reliance on oil.