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County Makes Testing Wind Easier


Aired 4/20/09

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to make it easier for energy firms to test for suitability for wind turbines in rural areas. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

Companies were required to get a major use permit to install a tower high enough to conduct the tests.

County officials say collecting the required information for that permit can cost up to $100,000 and a public hearing is also required.

The vote means that firms now need to apply for a less stringent  "administrative permit," which does not require a public hearing.

That permit will enable testing for up to three years.

A wind energy representative says the test poles for collection of wind data are less than 200 feet tall and about six inches in diameter - similar to a ham radio antenna.
Donna Tisdale with the Boulevard Community Planning Group told the board that wind turbines destroy her area's rural atmosphere.

But Board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob says the new permit is for testing facilities only.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.      


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