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Updated Alert: Strauss Wind Project Underway! #cleanenergy

Update: Strauss Wind Project Underway!

We are pleased to share that the Strauss Wind Project received its permits in early May. This means that construction can begin on Santa Barbara’s first wind farm. Renewable energy continues to be more cost-effective than oil and gas and the struggles of the fossil fuel industry during the COVID-19 pandemic are only increasing this divide.

Update (November 2019):

We are excited to share that, with the help of community members who signed a petition and showed up in support, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted on November 13, 2019 to deny three appeals and approve the Strauss Wind Project. The vote was 4-0, with Supervisor Peter Adam recusing himself.  The wind turbines will play a big role in moving our region to 100% renewable energy. Construction is slated to begin in early 2020.

Original Alert

On Tuesday, January 28, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the Strauss Wind Project, which is the subject of three appeals. County staff are recommending denying the appeals, and your voice will help support their position.

The 98-megawatt project in the hills south of Lompoc was unanimously approved by the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission in November. By denying the appeals, the County will move forward with Santa Barbara’s first wind farm, which will double the county’s generation of renewable electricity, generating enough clean electricity for 43,000 homes. The project is sited at the same location as the previously-approved Lompoc Wind Energy Project (2009), which was not built due to the economic downturn.

Take Action

  1. Sign your name to the letter below to urge the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors to deny the appeals.
  2. Attend the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Meeting Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at 9:00 a.m.
    North County Location (in-person participation): Joseph Centeno Betteravia Government Administration Building, Board Hearing Room 511, East Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria, CA, 93455. South County Location  (remote participation): County Administration Building Board Hearing Room, Fourth Floor, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA, 93101.Transportation: Contact Michael Chiacos at [email protected] to learn about carpool opportunities.

Dear Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors:

I support renewable energy development and urge you to deny appeals to the Strauss Wind Energy Project. The Strauss project will more than double renewable energy production in our county and is an important project to quickly reduce our emissions in the face of the climate crisis.

Santa Barbara County has some of the lowest utility-scale wind energy production in the state. We need to do our part to ensure that California meets our goal of 60% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% clean electricity by 2045. Currently, the only utility-scale renewable energy projects in the county are a 40-megawatt solar farm in Cuyama and a 28-megawatt solar farm in Vandenberg. The county also has 64.4 megawatts in 8,651 projects of distributed (i.e. rooftop) solar.

Wind power is a crucial element in balancing our electrical grid because, unlike solar, it can be produced in the evenings when the sun is down. Wind turbines generate carbon-free electricity without using any water.

In addition, the project will:

  • Avoid approximately 40,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions of 8,000 cars.
  • Provide an estimated $40 million in tax revenue over the project’s 30-year life.
  • Create 150 temporary construction jobs and 5-7 permanent jobs.
  • Allow local ranchers to continue agricultural operations while receiving a supplemental income stream.

Santa Barbara County needs to do more to quickly reduce our carbon emissions. I urge the County of Santa Barbara to approve the Strauss Wind Energy Project.

Thank you for your consideration.

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