A renewable energy company is making plans to restore two wind farms in Riverside County. The project is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint while being more efficient. Our team got a tour of the site where they plan on building the bigger and taller wind turbines.
Built in the 1980’s and standing between 80 and 140 feet, these old wind turbines will soon be a site of the past. Brookfield Renewable says due to advancements in technology, the new turbines will produce more energy.
“If you were to see around here you would see that there are several hundred turbines that are here that are at the end of their life or close to the end of their life that were built again in the early ’80s and we are looking to replace them with much smaller amount of more efficient turbines that the industry is headed towards,” said Andy Davis, Director of Communications for Brookfield Renewable.
We got a tour of two of the wind farms and the company tells us they plan on replacing the 450 wind turbines behind me with up to 11 turbines that will be more efficient. Our team spoke to residents in Whitewater Canyon in the past who raised some concerns about this proposed project regarding its size.
“Imagine what the impact would be of something that’s 400 feet taller than where that blade is. I mean you’d see the whole thing all the way along, it’s going to look like calvary,” said Wayne King, Whitewater Canyon resident.
The company says the new turbines will have a hub height of up to 285 feet and other than size their focus on wildlife is important too.
“There are tortoises that we need to take care of, there are certainly birds that need to be considered, and all of those studies take place in order for this to move forward, explained Davis.
As for where the energy goes, we are told it goes to a substation and then the California Independent System Operator controls where the energy goes based on demand. As far as a timeline on when this project will be completed, we’re told there are still some permit considerations the company has to work through, but they hope to start decommissioning the site this year and start generating by 2021.