Notices for
Order Instituting Investigation - Docket # 06-OII-1

In the Matter of:


Development of Statewide Guidelines for
Reducing Wildlife Impacts from Wind
Energy Development

Docket No. 06-OII-1

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING

 

The California Energy Commission Renewables Committee will conduct a hearing to seek public comment on the development of statewide guidelines to reduce the impact of wind energy development to birds and bats. Commissioner John L. Geesman is the Presiding Member and Vice Chair Jackalyne Pfannenstiel is the Associate Member. The hearing will be held on:

FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2006
10:00 a.m.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Note: Audio from this meeting will be broadcast over the Internet. For details, please go to: www.energy.ca.gov/webcast/

To participate in the meeting by phone, please call 888-791-1856 after 9:50 a.m. Passcode: (Avian) Call Leader: (John Mathias)

Background

On May 24, 2006, the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) adopted an Order Instituting Informational (OII) proceeding to develop statewide guidelines to help reduce the impacts of wind energy development on birds and bats (Docket 06-OII-1). The OII delegated authority to develop statewide guidelines to the Renewables Committee. The Energy Commission, working with the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), is developing these voluntary guidelines intended for use by local government lead agencies such as counties and cities to facilitate the permitting and environmental review process for wind energy development in California. The Energy Commission and the CDFG are developing these guidelines using the best available science and a collaborative approach that includes stakeholders and members of the public. The goal of the proceeding is to encourage the development of wind energy in the state while minimizing impacts to wildlife in the development of wind energy. Developing accepted means to avoid or minimize wildlife impacts will facilitate the permitting and construction of new wind energy projects and the re-powering of existing wind facilities in the state.

California's substantial wind resources are likely to play an important role in meeting the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals. Recognizing the need for integrated, multi-agency guidance for avoiding and minimizing impacts to birds and bats as a result of construction and operation of wind energy facilities, the Energy Commission's 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report recommends development of "statewide protocols for studying avian mortality to address site specific impacts in each individual wind resource area." This recommendation was affirmed at a wind energy-wildlife conference sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the California Audubon Society on January 10-11, 2006.

On April 13, 2006, the Renewables Committee sent a letter to participants of the AWEA-Audubon conference in preparation for the guideline development process http://www.energy.ca.gov/windguidelines/. That letter requested recommendations for composing a Science Advisory Committee (SAC) that would serve to provide peer review for the guidelines and solicited suggestions on how guideline development should proceed. The CDFG will assist Energy Commission with the SAC and provide input and guidance on the role of this group as the guideline development process moves forward. Energy Commission staff are following up on that letter with phone calls and e-mails with conference participants and other stakeholders. The next step is to hold a hearing to discuss the guideline development process.

Purpose

The purpose of the hearing is to introduce and describe the guideline development process and to seek public comment on the scope and content of the draft outline (see attachment). The hearing will also provide a forum to identify key issues that might require more in-depth discussions at future workshops. The proposed outline is intended as a preliminary draft to stimulate discussion. The Renewables Committee encourages interested parties to present their views either in writing in advance of the hearing or orally at the hearing, including responses to the following questions:

  • Does the outline omit issues that should be part of the Guidelines?
  • Are there topics included in the outline that should not be part of the Guidelines?
  • Are there issues noted in the outline that should be the topic of in-depth, focused discussions at future workshops?

Written Comments

Additional written comments must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on June 16, 2006. Please include the docket number 06-OII-1 and indicate "Developing Statewide Avian Guidelines" in the subject line or first paragraph of your comments. Please hand deliver or mail an original plus 12 paper copies to:

California Energy Commission
Dockets Office, MS-4
Re: Docket No. 06-OII-1
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

The Energy Commission encourages comments by e-mail. Please include your name or organization in the name of the file. Those submitting comments by electronic mail should provide them in either Microsoft Word format or as a Portable Document (PDF) to [docket@energy.state.ca.us]. One paper copy must also be sent to the Energy Commission's Docket Unit.

Participants may also provide an original and 12 copies at the beginning of the hearing. All written materials relating to this hearing will be filed with the Dockets Unit and become part of the public record in this proceeding.

Additional Information

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, provides the public assistance in participating in Energy Commission activities. If you want information on how to participate in this forum, please contact the Public Adviser's Office at (916) 654-4489 or toll free at (800) 822-6228, by FAX at (916) 654-4493, or by e-mail at [pao@energy.state.ca.us]. If you have a disability and require assistance to participate, please contact Lou Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 at least five days in advance.

Please direct all news media inquiries to Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director, at (916) 654-4989. If you have questions on the technical subject matter of this forum, please contact Rick York, Senior Biologist at [ryork@energy.state.ca.us].

The Energy Commissions 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report is located at: www.energy.ca.gov/2005_energypolicy.

commissioner signature
JOHN L. GEESMAN
Commissioner and Presiding Member
Renewables Committee

commissioner signature
JACKALYNE PFANNENSTIEL
Commissioner and Associate Member
Renewables Committee

 

Wind Energy Guidelines

Original Proceeding for Development of Guidelines