Project Title: Strauss Wind Energy Project and Associated Revisions
Case Numbers:  16CUP-00000-00031, 18VAR-00000-00002, 21RVP-00000-00082
Project Location: Lompoc Area, Santa Barbara County
Assigned Staff and Division:

Kathy PfeiferEnergy, Minerals and Compliance Division

Status

In April of 2020, construction commenced on the Strauss Wind Energy Project (SWEP). 

Strauss Wind, LLC (Applicant) is currently requesting a revision to the SWEP's approved Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Proposed revisions to the approved project include: 

  • a. Reduce grading along San Miguelito Road due to utilizing blade lifting vehicles to transport the wind turbine blades to the project site. 
  • b. Remove Wind Turbine Generator (WTG) W 1 and relocate WTG N 5 along an access road between WTGs N 7 and N 8. Project to generate 95 megawatts per year with 28 WTGs (down from the approved project's 98 megawatts with 29 WTGs). 
  • c. Relocate some of the transmission pole locations along the general route of the approved Transmission Line, and relocate some of the associated access roads.
  • d. Revise the grading and drainage plans to accommodate the three components described above and accommodate other drainage ad erosion control improvements throughout the project site. 
The revision application is considered incomplete at this time.  Once complete, the full revision application will be uploaded to the website.    
   

Description

Stauss Wind, LLC, an affiliate of BayWa r.e. Wind, LLC, proposes to construct and operate a 98.14 megawatt (MW) wind energy project, the Strauss Wind Energy Project (SWEP), south of the City of Lompoc. The Project's Wind Site is located on 2,970 acres, consisting of 11 properties, and the Project's transmission line corridor would be located on 11 properties, starting at the Wind Site and running east and northeast to the City of Lompoc. The major components of the project include:

  • 29 wind turbine generators (WTGs) up to 492 feet tall;
  • a new 7.3-mile, 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line to interconnect with the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) electric grid;
  • an approximate 1-acre substation;
  • an approximate 1.4-acre switchyard;
  • an approximate 0.4-acre operations and maintenance facility;
  • widening of existing onsite roads and construction of new roads; and
  • reconductor (replacing wires and poles) for 0.8 miles along PG&E's existing Manville 115-kV power line from the proposed switchyard to PG&E's Cabrillo substation in the City of Lompoc; and upgrades to the Cabrillo substation.

The SWEP's facilities, including all wind turbine generators (WTGs), the power line, and access roads would be located in the Inland Area of the County and subject to the Santa Barbara County Land Use and Development Code (LUDC). 

The SWEP application package includes applications for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), and a Variance for reduced property line setbacks for WTGs and modifications to setbacks of the WTGs from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) property.

The Project site is the location of the previously proposed Lompoc Wind Energy Project (LWEP, 06CUP-00000-00009), which was approved by the County in 2009, but never constructed. A Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was prepared for the LWEP and certified by the County in February 2009 (County EIR No. 06EIR-00000-00004). The SWEP environmental review is a supplement to the LWEP EIR (18EIR-00000-00001).

Timeline

Date   Event Type
April 27, 2020   Zoning Clearance Permit issued for Project. 
January 28, 2020   Board of Supervisors denied three appeals and approved the Project. 
December 2, 2019   Three appeals were filed on the Planning Commission approval. 
November 20, 2019                                       Planning Commission approved the Project.
October 31, 2019                                              Proposed Final SEIR available on County webpage.

 April 2019- June 2019                                                

 

Public review comment period for Draft SEIR. An environmental hearing was held on May 30, 2019 in Lompoc. 

July 2018 - April 2019                                   

 

Planning and Development had been working with their consultant, Aspen Environmental Group, to prepare a Supplement to the Lompoc Wind Energy Project Environmental Impact Report for SWEP.

July 2, 2018            

 

County Planning and Development submitted a  Notice of Preparation to the State Clearing House, which initiated a 30-day public comment period.  A public scoping meeting was held on July 19, 2018.

April 6, 2018                   

 

County Planning and Development determined Strauss' application for a Conditional Use Permit to be complete.

December 21, 2016                

 

Strauss submitted a Conditional Use Permit application for the development of a utility-scale wind farm.


Documents

Permits

Zoning Clearance Permit - April 27, 2020

Decision-Maker Documents and Materials

Board of Supervisors letter to consider three appeals to the Planning Commission approval - January 28, 2020

Board of Supervisors letter to set hearing on January 28, 2020 to consider three appeals to the Planning Commission approval - January 14, 2020

Planning Commission Staff Report - November 20, 2019

Planning Commission Hearing Notice

CEQA Materials

SWEP Final SEIR Transmittal

Final SWEP Supplemental EIR

       Final SEIR Volume I, II and Appendices

       Final SEIR Individual Chapters

Document by Section:  Draft SWEP Supplemental EIR (Folder)

Full Document:  Draft SWEP Supplemental EIR (PDF)

Notice of Availability - April 23, 2019

Scoping Meeting Notice

Notice of Preparation – July 19, 2018

LWEP Final EIR

Permit Application Materials

Permit Application Package