April 3, 2024
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Letter: Clarifying the status of solar and wind projects in the region


Dear Editor:

First, let me thank you for writing the article on renewable energy in our region. [See Green Coast special section, published April 6]. It is important for people to know about local projects and their progress.

I actually produce a monthly renewable energy report on projects large and small for regional stakeholders and noticed a couple inaccuracies in your report:

1) Lompoc wind project: It is my understanding that the lawsuit from the neighbors did not significantly slow down the project.  The main hurdles have been the requirements from the permit and financing issues stemming from the great recession.

2) Lompoc wind project: you mention that “the project has shrunk to as few as two permanent towers and five temporary towers.” That is simply not true.  They did just get approval for two permanent and five temporary meteorological towers, but these are very different from the turbine towers.  I know that a certain person in the community sent that information out via email, but she also retracted it shortly after.

3) Cuyama solar: The last line “…and may go before the Board of Supervisors later this month…” is misleading.  The project is about to initiate the Environmental Impact Review process, but is nowhere near board approval stage.
We don’t expect to see a final EIR until 2013.  In the mean time, it is incredibly important for people to get involved in the process and they need to know that they still have opportunities to do so.

Thank you,
— Megan Birney
Renewable energy specialist at Community Environmental Council, Santa Barbara