Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wind energy not only requires turbine towers and transmission lines, but electric substations

Expansion of wind-energy projects means expansion of other facilities to handle the electrciity they generate. Residents of Boulevard, Calif., say a proposed electric substation will disturb their peaceful community and uncluttered landscape. The 58-acre substation would send wind energy from eastern San Diego County and northern Baja California to the Southwest Powerlink, a power-transmission line along the Mexican border, Anne Kruger of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. told the residents at a meeting that the substation would provide transmission lines for six wind projects, including one proposed by the Campo Indian Tribe for 100 turbines, Kruger reports. Residents argued that the substation would primarily benefit residents of urban San Diego County, despite assurances from the utility that the substation would create better power stability for the "backcountry," as Kruger calls it.

“You're claiming we're a high-risk area, but you're going to put more risk on us,” Jacumba resident Lorrie Ostrander said at the meeting. The utility is considering a plan to shut off power to the backcountry during high-wind days to reduce the risk of wildfire. (Read more)

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