Editorial: Future of turbines is blowing in the wind
Word that Acconia Energy North American has abandoned plans to build the region’s only wind farm near Lompoc comes amid a surprising resurgence in wind power for California.
As reported in the Business Times by contributing writer Patrick Kulp on Aug. 2, Acconia, a Spanish firm, has walked away from its proposed 65-unit power plant near Vandenberg Air Force Base. Rising costs, coastal building restrictions, the need to build transmission lines and the deep recession gripping the Spanish economy apparently contributed to the no-go decision.
But the Department of Energy on Aug. 6 painted a different picture for wind production in California and the U.S. In 2012, wind supplanted solar as the No. 1 source of new power production nationwide with California production totaling 1,656 megawatts.
We suspect that wind’s prospects won’t blow as strongly now that Lompoc has been shelved. The next era for wind power in the region is likely to involve much smaller and more widely dispersed projects.