UPDATE – November 20, 2019
SUCCESS! The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Strauss Wind Project, which will double renewable energy production in the county and provide enough clean electricity for 43,000 homes. If the project doesn’t get appealed, construction will start in January. Read more in this Noozhawk article.
Original letter of support sent to Santa Barbara County Planning Commission
Dear Santa Barbara County Planning Commissioners:
I support renewable energy development and urge you to approve 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 face of the climate crisis.
Santa Barbara County has some of the lowest utility-scale renewable 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 212,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to the emissions of 46,087 average cars.
- Provide an estimated $40 million in tax revenue over the project’s 30 year life.
- Create 150 temporary construction jobs and 4-6 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.