Albert Lopez
Planning Director

Current Development Projects

Sand Hill Wind Repowering Project - Application No. PLN2017-00201, Sand Hill Wind, LLC

In late 2017 Sand Hill Wind, LLC, an affiliate of sPower (also known as Sustainable Power Group, an AES and AIMCo company, and as of January 2021 fully merged as part of AES' clean energy development branch), has applied for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to repower an estimated 671 existing or previously existing wind energy turbine sites with up to 40 new turbines with a maximum production capacity of 144.5 megawatts (MW), using turbines rated between 2.3 and 3.8 MW (and potentially up to 4.0 MW) per turbine, on fifteen nearly contiguous parcels extending over approximately 2,600 acres within the eastern and Alameda County portion of the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA). The Project area is more specifically located along both the north and south sides of Altamont Pass Road, west of Grant Line Road, along both the east and west sides of Mountain House Road north of Grant Line Road, and on both sides of Bethany Reservoir, west of the Delta-Mendota Canal northwest of Mountain House Road, and southeast of the intersection of Christensen and Bruns Roads.

The Project is within the broad scope of the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) Repowering Program that was the subject of a Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) certified by the East County Board of Zoning Adjustments on November 12, 2014 and is therefore being reviewed as a tiered project pursuant to Sections 1516 of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines. The County previously prepared and circulated for public review and comment an environmental analysis (EA) and a Checklist, intended to inform public agency decision-makers and the public generally of the significant environmental effects of the Project and identify possible ways to minimize such effects, particularly with respect to the extent to which the Project's impacts and mitigation measures had previously been identified in the PEIR. Based on comments on the EA the County later determined that a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) was an appropriate means of complying with its obligations under CEQA.

Links to the Draft and Final SEIR, Notice of Preparation, Notice of Completion and Notice of Availability and other supporting documents, including the EA and Checklist, together with technical appendices, are available at the links below.

Links to Micro-Siting Studies carried out by wildlife biologists and researchers Dr. Shawn Smallwood and Estep Environmental Consultants are also provided.

A hearing to take comments on the Draft SEIR on was held on September 12, 2019 as described in the Notice of Availability. Comments were accepted through October 4, 2019. A Final SEIR was prepared with responses to comments received during the comment period, and was provided to all persons commenting on the Draft SEIR. A hearing to consider certification of the SEIR and action on the Conditional Use Permit application was held on February 13, 2020, at which time the East County Board of Zoning Adjustments certified the Final SEIR, by Resolution Z-20-01, and subsequently approved the Sand Hill Wind Project, by Resolution Z-20-02. Links to the Notice of the Public Hearing, Staff Report, Resolutions and Exhibits are below. The staff report and draft proposed Resolutions were sent by e-mail to those persons and agencies who had submitted comments on the Draft SEIR. An appeal of the certification of the Final SEIR and the CUP approval was submitted on February 24, 2020 by the Golden Gate chapter of the Audubon Society (GGAS) and Audubon California (see first link below), which was accepted by the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors as having been submitted in a timely manner, because the 10-day appeal period ended on a non-working weekend day (Sunday, February 23, 2020).

The Board of Supervisors considered the appeal on December 15, 2020. The Board letter (or brief staff report) and an Exhibit A to the Board letter is attached, together with the draft resolution and a conceptual Sand Hill Revised Project, Exhibit D, which reflects a joint agreement between the applicant Sand Hill Wind, LLC and the appellants to reduce the project to a maximum of 16 turbines and a maximum output capacity of 50 MW, on 11 parcels only.

Contact staff ( for more information.

GGAS Appeal of the Resolution to Certify the SEIR, and Resolution to Approve CUP PLN2017-00201 (pdf, 238KB)

Conditional Use Permit Documents

CEQA Documents

Staff Contacts

Andrew Young, Senior Planner


Phone: (510) 670-5400