Don't Touch Those Trees You TreeHuggers!
'Save the birds and bats' has been a common PR cry of wind farm opponents, a tactic that works because of a commonly held eco-myth. Where transmission lines have to be expanded to feed wind power to customers -- this is going to be happening all over the country with increasing frequency -- a new wind power opposition tactic will become available: protest the transmission line expansions. Here's a big new expansion project proposal of the sort we're talking about. "Southern California Edison (SCE) has applied to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the U.S. Forest Service for authorization to construct Segments 4 through 11 of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, a series of new and upgraded high-voltage electric transmission lines to deliver electricity from proposed new wind farms in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area to SCE customers and the California transmission grid...The project would cost approximately $1.8 billion and if completed in 2013 as proposed, would be capable of carrying 4500 MW of electricity, enough energy to supply nearly 3 million homes at peak output." While most of the construction typically takes place in existing utility corridors, there will no doubt be places where trees will have to be cut, and soil disturbed. A perfect tactical opportunity for opponents. Imagine what happens if an endangered species habitat listing would be transected by the proposed route. Might be enough to get ESA opponents to reconsider their strategy. Via:: Transmission and Distribution World Image credit:: Tehachapi Master Fact Sheet, Southern California Edison