Wind Energy Facts

Fundamental Wind Energy Questions

+ What is a Wind Farm? 

A wind farm is a group of wind turbines producing utility-scale wind power. Wind farms differ in size, ranging from a few to hundreds of wind turbines. Wind farms provide energy to the power grid, powering homes and businesses with clean energy.

+ Who is responsible for a Wind Farm? 

Eolus North America, Inc. (ENA) and other similar companies offer full services throughout the life of a wind farm. We take care of the development, construction, and operation of the renewable energy facility. After construction, we offer comprehensive project management services.  

+ How will a Wind Farm affect nearby property values?

Numerous studies throughout the years have shown that property values near wind turbines have not been negatively impacted long-term. In fact, some studies have shown positive impacts to property values because of the increased economic development in neighboring communities.

A comprehensive study of the impacts of wind farms on property values was conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and released in August of 2013. The study analyzed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities across nine U.S. states and did not uncover any impacts to nearby home property values.

This study used a number of sophisticated techniques to control for other potential impacts on home prices, including collecting data that spanned a time period from well before the wind facilities’ development was announced to after they were operating. This allowed researchers to control for any pre-existing differences in home sales prices across their sample and any changes that occurred due to the housing bubble. 

+ Does renewable energy support local communities?

The Kulning Wind Energy Project (KWEP) and ENA has and will continue to collaborate and support the project’s surrounding communities.  These programs may include a financial commitment to the surrounding communities. We strive to establish a commitment with local landowners, businesses and other stakeholders for the betterment of those communities adjacent to the project area; which may include opportunities to help provide funding for new and existing community priorities, as defined by local improvement plans.

These opportunities may include, but are not limited to, community recreation facilities and programs, community centers, the enhancement of parks and open spaces, and the improvement of multiple-use trail networks.

ENA is dedicated to active involvement, collaboration and transparency with the communities located near our renewable energy facilities. This includes holding public workshops where we can share project updates and address any potential concerns. Renewable energy projects boost the local economy, too. The construction period creates hundreds of jobs locally and for operation and maintenance, our projects create locally sourced, permanent employment.   

+ What are the benefits of renewable energy? 

Wind energy is created from naturally replenishing sources. As long as the wind keeps blowing, energy can be harvested and used as electricity. The more renewable energy in the power grid, the fewer the fossil fuels needed to generate electricity.  This results in less carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, less pollution, and ultimately, and a healthier planet.

In addition to its benefits to the environment, the cost of renewable energy is decreasing remarkably, making it an affordable and competitive alternative to fossil fuels. The wind energy sector invests directly into the economy and creates long-term jobs.  Currently, the US employs approximately 120,000 direct jobs and is one of the fastest growing industries.  Additionally, renewable energy projects promote grid stability, stabilize energy rates and promotes domestic energy production. 

+ Can the land used for wind energy generation co-exist with conservation, wildlife habitats and recreational activities?

Yes, one of the many benefits of wind energy projects is they can simultaneously be used for agriculture, recreation and wildlife habitat.  During operation, wind energy facilities (including roads, the turbines themselves and the surrounding pads) utilize under 10% of the occupied land, leaving over 90% undisturbed.  The KWEP area would not be fenced off, (with the exception of areas designated for substations and parts storage areas) and would thus retain multiple use of public land with minimal impacts to plants, wildlife, and recreational activities. 

Any flora or fauna that would be disturbed during construction would either be transplanted or replaced; in accordance with  BLM requirements and company practices to minimize impacts.  

Frequently Asked Questions on the Kulning Wind Energy Project (KWEP)

Through community engagement, public workshops, voter polling and other avenues, KWEP’s team understands the questions and concerns regarding environmental and social impacts.  We are committed to working with all stakeholders and community members to implement mitigation strategies to reduce impacts and improve quality of life for future generations and wildlife.   KWEP embraces transparency, addressing public concerns, and responding to questions throughout the development process.  Additional answers to frequently asked questions are below.  However, if you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at info@kulningwind.com. 

+ Would the Kulning Wind Energy Project impact big horn sheep habitat?

Impacts to big horned sheep habitat are determined as a result of the EIS process. They are expected to be minimal because the project footprint is a small fraction of the project study area and the project will not be fenced.  KWEP is willing to cooperate with Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and other agencies on implementing bighorn sheep impact studies and mitigation strategies to evaluate and improve the local bighorn sheep resource if such is deemed necessary.

“Studies of the bighorn sheep over the last 5 years have shown increased use of natural areas directly surrounding the wind farm since construction was completed. Observers earlier this year noted that some sheep have even walked right through the farm without incident. It is great to see the 5-year study demonstrate that bighorn sheep continue to use the areas surrounding the farm and no negative changes in movement patterns have been noted.” Pattern for Nature, A look into Pattern’s Ocotillo Wind Farm: Bighorn Sheep

 

Wind farm infrastructure and Bighorn Sheep habitat on the Crescent Peak can adequately coexist and thrive due to the below facts:

  • Nelson Bighorn Sheep forage is typically located in alluvial fans, washes and bajades as these are where the more productive vegetation area due to wetter soils.
  • The proposed wind project avoids these potential sensitive areas along with natural or manmade water sources such as guzzlers, seeps and springs. 
  • There are no Guzzlers located on the project site or riparian habitats, one spring with the nearest proposed wind turbine being 1,600 feet away and an additional spring within a mile of the nearest wind turbine.
  • Wildlife such as black bears, elk, antelope, quail, dove, turkey and chukar thrive in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area.  This area is populated by over 3,000 wind turbines which has proven that wind energy and wildlife can thrive together.

+ What are the Expected Impacts on Golden Eagles?

SWCA Environmental Consultants completed 2 years of pre-construction Eagle studies, encompassing the project area, that were completed in 2017.  Upon request, we can direct you to where the studies can be found on the BLM ePlanning site.  A brief summary of the report is as follows: 

  • Eagle studies observed no active eagle nest within the project area. According to SWCA’s pre-construction survey, the proposed project area ranks near the bottom of 17 wind projects studied for eagle use. “…golden eagle use in the Project is well below the mean golden eagle use for all of these sites.” “Of the sites provided in Erickson’s (2002) synthesis where golden eagles are known to occur, the Project would rank near the bottom for golden eagle use.” 
  • Siting adjustments have already been made to avoid areas of eagle use within the site boundaries. There are no active Golden Eagle nests within the revised project area, and one active-occupied nest was observed in 2017 within the revised project perimeter. Additional adjustment would be considered and implemented based on the impacts determined from the EIS contractor’s evaluation of the SWCA field studies and Biological Assessment, and the Crescent Peak Bird and Bat Conservation Strategy.

+ Would the project affect the Clark County Southern Nevada Supplemental Airport (SNSA) or US Military testing?

Discussions with Clark County regarding the SNSA have determined there will likely be no negative impact to the local airports.  Additionally, after past discussions with the Department of Defense (DOD), we are confident we can come to a mutually beneficial curtailment agreement with DOD for the Kulning Wind Energy Project. 

+ Would the project affect existing mining claims?

The KWEP team has been in discussion with several operational mines and prospected mines in the area.  The KWEP team has had positive discussions regarding cooperative road maintenance and other topics:

  • The project has been designed to avoid most active mining claims.  
  • 28 Mining Claims are located on or intersected by the project boundary for the preferred layout. 
  • 3 Wind Turbines are currently planned on mining claims with one claim having recent earth work. 
  • 8 Mineral Patent Claims to be considered within the project area.  No civil features are located on these properties as they are treated as private land.  Presently there is no mining activity taking place on these 8 mineral patents. 
  • Most of the mines in this area do not have road access. Having a wind turbine road network could facilitate access to these claims in a manner that would reduce environmental impacts by serving a dual purpose.   

+ What impacts would KWEP have on neighboring communities?

The nearest proposed turbine is ~9 miles from Searchlight, NV, ~13 miles from Cal-Nev-Ari, NV and ~8 miles from Nipton, CA.  There would be minor to moderate visual impacts, and no acoustical impacts expected.  There would be significant positive impacts to the surrounding communities.

The kulning Wind Energy Project layout has been adjusted to address concerns raised in the past by neighbors and stakeholders.  This includes shrinking the project layout by reducing the number of turbines to increase the distance from and reduce visual impacts to the Castle Peaks, Hart Peak, Spirit Mountain and the Mojave National Preserve from surrounding scenic vista points and Searchlight, Nipton and Cal-Nev-Ari. 

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