climate in crisis

Climate in Crisis: Wind Powers Zero Emission Energy

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Twenty-three new wind turbines, reaching up nearly 500 feet, are now online in the Altamont just east of Livermore. It’s called the Scott Haggerty Wind Energy Center.

Marie Fontenot of East Bay Community Energy says, "This facility which is about 55 megawatts of generating capacity, will power about 40,000 homes." And it’s been a long time in the making.

"Really, start to finish it takes many, many years … 5 years or more," Fontenot says. "You have to cite the project, get the land if you don’t already. You have to get a lease with the landowner. We have to get permits to do the building. You have to start building, constructing. You also have to get a loan. Typically to build a project you have to interconnect the electric system. Do a bunch of testing and then it can eventually come online. So it really is a many year-long process."

It’s so important to generate clean energy like these wind turbines. With each rotation they’re putting electricity into the grid without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is a bad greenhouse gas that makes our warming problem even worse.

Nick Chaset, CEO of East Bay Community Energy says, "Our goals in the long term, we set a goal that by 2030, 100% clean energy, which is 15 years ahead of California’s regulatory legislative mandates. The law requires it by 2045. We want to do it by 2030. In the near term what we want for our customers to deliver lower cost energy anywhere from 5-20% more renewable energy in relative to PG&E."

"If you’re not pleased by the options that your local electric utility company provides I would absolutely encourage looking into your community and seeing if a community choice aggregator is available to you," Fontenot adds. "CCAs serve a lot of the state of California and we’re always expanding. And then talk to your city council members. Tell them that you want better clean energy choices. Tell them that you want a community choice aggregator in your community and to give you more options."

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