Thursday, April 14, 2005

Another 120 electricity-generating wind turbines wind turbines for Montezuma Hills in Solano County

Article Last Updated: Wednesday, Apr 13, 2005 - 10:52:24 pm PDT

More wind turbines for Montezuma Hills

By Barry Eberling

FAIRFIELD - Another 120 electricity-generating wind turbines, most 388 feet tall, could be coming to the rural Montezuma Hills.Shiloh Wind Partners, owned by EnXco, plans to build them. It is leasing 6,800 acres of private property from 20 private landowners for the wind farm. The county Planning Commission approved the project Tuesday by a 3-0 vote in a special meeting.Montezuma Hills is Solano County's designated area for wind turbines. Heavy winds often buffet this hilly region of grazing land near such small, unincorporated towns as Birds Landing and Collinsville. Rio Vista is the nearest city and is several miles to the east.Most of the turbines will be 388 feet tall from the ground to the top of an upturned blade. By comparison, the Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall from the ground at the base platform to the tip of the torch.
Besides the turbines, the project includes 31 miles of new access roads and 41 miles of underground utilities. The project will have three significant, unavoidable effects, an environmental study said. It could change the views, kill birds and bats and cause more air pollution during construction.Turbines can kill birds. This project could kill 59 raptors annually, mostly American kestrel and red-tailed hawks, the study said. The developers will take such steps as preserving 120 acres for raptors elsewhere.The large turbines could "substantially degrade" the view from Birds Landing, roads and various rural homes. Nothing can change that, the study said. Any pollution caused by the construction of the roads and turbine would be temporary, the study said.

The Suisun Resource Conservation District has objected to other developments near the marsh. But not in this case. "These projects bring needed renewable energy to the region and help support SRCD's marsh preservation and enhancement programs," Executive Director Steve Chappell wrote to the county. Montezuma Hills already has more than 600 wind turbines.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646 Ext. 232 or at

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