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  • RENEWABLE ENERGY

    'No On Windmills' group speaks up

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  • LUCERNE VALLEY — The group behind the recent “No on Windmills” mailer spoke out in a letter to the Daily Press on Friday.
    Rich Ravana, president of Alliance for Desert Preservation, said in his letter there is no mystery about the volunteer group, which has been active in gathering signatures opposing the proposed North Peak Wind Project.
    “Our purpose is to protect the environmental and economic well-being of the High Mojave Desert, and to support a sustainable future, while safeguarding against activities that may harm the High Mojave Desert,” Ravana said in his letter.
    Additionally, the group took out a full-page advertisement in the Daily Press on July 4 exhorting readers to “Express Your Freedom” by signing an online petition opposing the project.
    A spokesman for Ravana said he would answer written media questions only after the text of his Friday letter to the editor was published in its entirety.
    A representative for developer E.ON Climate & Renewables North America said the North Peak project “will provide 150 to 200 jobs that can’t be exported.”
    “This is a unique wind resource in California that will deliver peak-demand power,” E.ON spokesman Elon Hasson said. “This will be a good renewable resource.”
    But the project has met with stiff resistance locally. Among its detractors are San Bernardino County Supervisors Robert Lovingood and James Ramos, who sent a joint letter to the Bureau of Land Management this week urging them not to approve the wind farm.
    Sierra Club Mojave Group Chair Jenny Wilder was supportive of the No On Windmills mailer and the alliance’s activities.
    “I think they are doing a better job than anyone else in getting the word out about the project,” Wilder said.
    She said elected and appointed officials need to have the wind-energy project thoroughly vetted over impacts on humans, “which has not been done yet.”
    Members of Royal Way, a spiritual association with property located at the eastern end of the proposed project, also saw the mailer and offered their opinion regarding the project.
    “Royal Way believes that meditation and silence are essential parts of a spiritual path,” organization President Joel McCabe wrote in an email. “We practice meditation at RW Ranch, our retreat center in Lucerne Valley. The construction and operation of the North Peak wind turbine project would totally disrupt the peace and tranquility of our ranch. Therefore we are opposed to it.”
    The wind farm’s application was suspended earlier this year for review, according to the Bureau of Land Management, but may return to the approval process around November.
    Gary Brodeur may be contacted at 760-951-6245 or gbrodeur@vvdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DP_gbrodeur.
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