Albert Lopez
Planning Director

Current Development Projects

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, CUP Application No. PLN2019-00226, Mulqueeney Ranch Wind Repowering Project

Mulqueeney Wind LLC, a subsidiary of Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, applied in December 2019 for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to replace 518 previously existing wind energy turbine sites with up to 36 new turbines with nameplate production capacity rated between 2.2 and 4.2 megawatts (MW) each, that together will have a maximum production capacity of approximately 80 MW. The Project is proposed on 29 nearly contiguous parcels extending over approximately 4,589 acres within the southeastern quadrant of the Alameda County portion of the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) in northern California.

The proposed project is consistent with the Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for the APWRA Repowering Program, which was certified by the East County Board of Zoning Adjustments (EBZA) on November 12, 2014 (SCH# 2010082063), pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The 80 MW project was identified in the PEIR (page 2-47) as a future repowering project which the PEIR evaluated at a programmatic level, for use in subsequent CEQA analyses. The project is being reviewed as a tiered project with a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) under Section 15163 of the CEQA Guidelines partly on the basis that the project proposed turbines that would use rotor blades of up to 68 meters in length (223 feet) whereas the PEIR did not anticipate blade lengths of more than 62.5 meters (205 feet), or more than 3 or 3.3 MW per turbine. In addition, new information about avian and bat mortality under operations of the current generation of turbines may affect how the severity of impacts as defined in the PEIR may be understood at the present time.

Although fewer but larger capacity turbines could serve the project objective of 80 MWs of capacity, the SEIR evaluated up to 36 turbine sites in order to assess a worst-case condition of ground disturbance, visual effects, avian mortality, total rotor swept area and other potential impacts of 36 turbine sites, and a maximum Project capacity of 80 MW.

A Notice of Preparation for the Subsequent EIR was circulated to state and federal agencies and interest groups to solicit agencies, organizations and individuals (aka stakeholders) to submit comments on the scope of the SEIR in April, 2020. A Notice of Availability of the draft SEIR was mailed to the same agencies and interested groups, providing a 45-day comment period from November 6, 2020 and 5:00 p.m. on December 21, 2020. At the request of some of the stakeholders the County extended the comment period to 5:00 p.m. on January 8, 2021. A final SEIR was prepared and certified on April 22, 2021, at which time, on staff's recommendation, the EBZA approved the reduced project alternative to the project as defined in the SEIR. The approved Resolution and Exhibits are attached.

As allowed for by the County Zoning Ordinance, the SEIR certification and project approval were appealed within the required 10-day appeal period by Audubon California together with Golden Gate Audubon Society and other regional affiliated Audubon Societies. The appeal letter is attached. A hearing by the County Board of Supervisors of the appeal has not yet been scheduled.

CEQA Documents

Conditional Use Permit Documents

Appeal by Audubon California, Golden Gate Audubon Society (and other affiliated chapter societies)

Public Notice of Appeal Hearing 10.7.2021

10.7.2021 Board Letter and attachments

Final Signed Board of Supervisors Resolution for Mulqueeny Project (pdf, 2.15 MB)*

Staff Contacts

Albert Lopez, Project Planner
(510) 670-5400
Sandra Rivera, Assistant Deputy Director
(510) 670-6526