Contra Costa County is looking at building an army of brand new wind turbines to generate clean, sustainable energy. But potential risks associated with the structures could turn them from simple windmills into menacing giants.
It's clear that the county's aging fleet of turbines needs an upgrade. They're decades old, small, and are too close to bird habitats. That means that endangered species are regularly killed when they fly into the spinning blades.
But the new turbines have Count Supervisors worried. One official worried that her constituents would be incapable of driving safely if the windmills were too close to the road, saying that they could pose too great a distraction. Her stance on roadside billboards, storefront signage, and lemonade stands is unknown.
There are no accounts of wind turbines causing an increase in distracted driving.
Nevertheless, the proximity to roads is a major point of contention. Because the structures would be very tall, current law would require that they be positioned over a thousand feet away from roads, according to the CC Times.
That limitation could defeat one of the main purposes of upgrading the system, since it would put the equipment dangerously close to bird habitats.
The Board of Supervisors will consider changes to that ordinance at a meeting on Tuesday, but only if their safety concerns have been calmed.