Friday, April 04, 2008

In Hopes of Harvesting the Best for Brisbane

The suggestion of wind power generation at the Baylands has recently been more widely discussed at City Council meetings as a means to help the project achieve energy neutrality. However, utilizing this resource requires for a number of questions to be answered first, namely:
  • What is the site’s wind energy potential?
  • Given that, what would be the most appropriate form and scale of on-site wind power generation?

To help answer these questions and to provide the City Council with valuable data for decision-making means, E.F. McCarthy Associates has been hired by the City. So far in their research, average wind speeds were reported as being marginal for commercial power generation, but also that further economic analysis would be needed. The study also suggested that a 60-meter tall wind tower be installed on-site to collect data on wind speed and direction. The City is currently working with the property owner, Universal Paragon (who is funding the costs associated with acquiring the tower) to install the wind data collection tower for a one-year period. The tower will be held in place by a series of guy-wires anchored to the ground.

Due to it being less than 200 ft. in height, the tower is exempt from FAA regulations, as well as from environmental review pursuant to Section 15306 of the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines (which allows for basic data collection and resource evaluation activities). The City will also be consulting with the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) to ensure that the temporary anchors do not impact the landfill cap integrity of the area. Want to hear more on this issue? Then plan on attending the April 7th City Council meeting at 7:30 pm at the Community Center where Council will be advised of the upcoming installation of the temporary wind tower, tentatively scheduled for mid-April.

Should you have the hankering to hear more about climate change after Monday night’s Council meeting, there is an event taking place the following night in Menlo Park, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. CafĂ© Scientifique, a monthly forum where the public can listen to and talk with scientists and technologists, will be welcoming speaker Peter Schwartz, who will be presenting on “Climate Change and Global Security.” Click here for more information and event details. Coffee, tea, and biscotti will be complimentary, but B.Y.O.M. if you’d rather not use their provided disposable cups (just in case, that’s bring your own mug).

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