Albert Lopez
Planning Director
Planning

Current Development Projects


Altamont Winds LLC, CUP Application No. PLN2014-00056, Summit Wind Repower Project

Altamont Winds LLC, applied (March 2014) for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow the Summit Wind Repower Project, to replace 569 wind turbines in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA), with up to 33 new turbines with a production capacity of 54 megawatts (MW). The project area as originally proposed included 17 parcels over about 3,470 acres located in the eastern Altamont Hills, between the Contra Costa County line and Interstate I-580, and mainly west of Dyer Road and the portion of Altamont Pass Road between Carroll Road and Dyer Road. One parcel east of Dyer Road approximately a half mile north of Altamont Pass Road was proposed for development but was subsequently disallowed by the County. The remainder of the wind farm assets held by Altamont Winds, Inc. (an affiliate of Altamont Winds LLC), an estimated 469 wind turbines located to the east on other properties in the APWRA and north of I-580, are not part of the Summit Wind Repower Project, but were decommissioned under Altamont Winds Inc.'s separate permit conditions (Permit Extension, PLN2014-00028), and may be repowered in the future with a separate project proposal.

The project was determined by the County to be consistent with the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) Repowering Final Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR), which was certified by the East County Board of Zoning Adjustments (EBZA) on November 12, 2014 (SCH# 2010082063). The project was therefore reviewed as a tiered project with a checklist pursuant to Section 15168(c) of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines. Based on the checklist, a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program was proposed based on the PEIR, and its implementation is required as a condition of approval.

Public hearings were held on November 19, 2015 and January 14, 2016 before the EBZA, and at the second of these hearings the EBZA approved the project, with changes including approval of 27 turbines only. Two of the original 33 proposed turbines were withdrawn by the Applicant due to proximity to the Brushy Peak Regional Preserve after negotiation with the East Bay Regional Park District; another four turbines were disallowed by the EBZA due to aesthetic and other concerns expressed by nearby rural residential property owners on Dyer Road. The project was appealed to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors by both the applicant and an area resident; however, on July 7, 2016 the appeals were mutually withdrawn and thus the CUP became effective as of that date.

In 2016 and early 2017, the APWRA Wind Repowering/Avian Protection Technical Advisory Committee (WRAP TAC) received, reviewed and made recommendations on final micrositing of the 27 turbines, and in 2018 the County issued grading permits for 26 turbines only. In 2019 Altamont Winds Inc. determined that three of these sites were infeasible and a final array of 23 General Electric 2.5 MW turbines is now planned, instead of 26 2.1 MW turbines. The result is that the aggregate nameplate capacity of the turbine array will be increased by 3.5 MW, from 54 MW to 57.5 MW. Because the CUP (Resolution Z-16-01 of January 14, 2016) authorized "a combined capacity of up to 54.0 MW...", and because rated capacity has been used as the basis for predicting avian and bat mortality from interaction with wind turbines, the County determined that a CUP Modification was required, as provided for by the County Zoning Ordinance (Section 17.54.150, Changes and Renewals). In January 2020, Altamont Winds LLC applied for a Conditional Use Permit Modification (PLN2020-00007).

Links to the notices, together with Staff Reports, draft and final resolutions and related supporting materials are provided below.

CEQA Documents

Staff Report and Related Materials

Appeals, by Altamont Winds, LLC, and Darryl Mueller, Dyer Road Resident

The appeals were withdrawn on July 7, 2016, and the approval by the EBZA remains in effect.

APWRA Technical Advisory Committee - Summit Wind Turbine Micro-siting Review


Staff Contacts

Sandra Rivera, Assistant Deputy Director
(510) 670-6526

Andrew Young, Project Planner
(510) 670-5400
andrew.young@acgov.org


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