Local News

Sunday, May 26 2013 03:00 PM

BLM approves wind energy project in east Kern

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The Bureau of Land Management has approved a large wind turbine project in eastern Kern County.

The 51-turbine project is slated to be three miles northwest of Mojave and about 11 miles east of Tehachapi and will cover 1,999 acres of public land, according to a BLM news release issued Friday.

The BLM approved a 30-year right-of-way grant to Alta Windpower Development, LLC "to construct, operate, maintain and decommission a wind energy generation facility," the news release said. Alta Windpower is a subsidiary of Terra-Gen Power.

Terra-Gen Power submitted applications to Kern County to use more than 500 acres of private land, bringing the project to 2,592 acres, according to county records. Kern County supervisors approved the project in January.

The East Alta Wind Energy Project will employ an estimated 260 workers and generate 15 permanent jobs, according to the BLM. The facility is anticipated to be capable of generating up to 153 megawatts of power, the news release said.

For the project, Terra-Gen Power installed "condor detection and avoidance measures," the news release said. If a condor is hit by a turbine blade, Alta Windpower will be required to shut down daytime operations and take more steps to reduce the threat to the birds, the news release said.

The company also promised to contribute to the Condor Recovery Program and is required to put an eagle conservation plan in place.

The full details of the decision and grant are available at tinyurl.com/east-alta-wind.

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