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San Diego Energy Projects Can Tap Extended Wind Credits

Wind energy will get a disputed tax credit at least for the rest of 2013. That's part of the federal deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Aired 1/3/13 on KPBS News.

California wind energy supporters are pleased that Congress turned back conservative headwinds and approved a one-year extension of tax credits for their industry.

Wind Turbine

Above: Wind Turbine

Advocates said uncertainty over the credit's future has already cost the industry thousands of jobs around the country.

The wind industry welcomes the federal subsidy. It could help projects like the Ocotillo wind farm in the Imperial Valley and the Tule Wind project in eastern San Diego County. Projects have to be under construction by the end of the year to qualify.

"We get paid, or get a tax credit for for every kilowatt hour that is produced," said Nancy Rader of California's Wind Energy Association.

"And so our tax credit is dependent on our production and not investment, no up front investment, but actually producing the energy," she said.

Wind energy has created about 5,000 jobs in California and generates 6 percent of the state's power.


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writerink | January 4, 2013 at 8:49 p.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

This is a very lopsided story as was the broadcast today on wind energy issues locally. These projects are not in "places nobody lives" as one guest implied. There are entire towns being destroyed. Since the Ocotillo project came on line a month ago there's been no wind. Demand to see how much power it produced in December. The answer is none or nearly none. Yet they have endangered 400 residents nearby with infrasound capable of causing serious health impacts, plus flashing lights all night long. Worst of all they destroyed 10,000 years of Native American cultural resources and destroyed scenic views on this "protected federal land" from which they bulldozed groves of century old ocotillos and crushed burrowing animals beneath the bulldozers. The federal govt. issued take permits allowing killing of endangered bighorn here. Nobody is celebrating the wind PTC renewal in Ocotillo, nor in the towns in San DIego's East County slated for wind projects foisted upon them next, who were praying the PTC would be destroyed. These are taxpayer boondoggles, destroying our public lands with our tax dollars. Now the same company that owns this boondoggle bought the company trying to build Quail Brush power plant, gas powered for "when the wind doesn't blow" which is most of the time. So they make money even if Ocotillo produces zilch. What a scam. Wake up KPBS!

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akrej01 | January 5, 2013 at 10 a.m. ― 1 year, 3 months ago

This Wind Project in Ocotillo is an absolute joke, I live right smack in the middle of it. The turbines surround my house, every window I look out of inside my house I see turbines. At night I can’t even sit on my front porch anymore, the flashing red lights give me a headache. I believe this project is a tax payer boondoggle, a complete waste of land and tax payer money. It’s around 10:00 am in Ocotillo right now and there isn’t one wind turbine turning, not one, zero megawatts of powered, zero homes being powered. This project went online on Dec 5, 2012 and is supposed to generate enough power to power 125,000 homes, 265 megawatts of power; I would be surprised if this project averaged 10 megawatts over the last month. Will somebody please tell us how much power this project has generated since it went on line? I’m guessing no one will give us this information because I’m sure it’s pretty embarrassing. And now we are seeing this need for peaker plants to generate power when the wind is not blowing, the peaker plants are going to be the main source of power because the winds in Ocotillo are NOT suitable for Industrial Scale Wind Turbines. Botton line: I believe this project is a complete failure and should be removed from this land immediately.

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