The first wind farm on California’s coast just came online



The Strauss Wind Project in Santa Barbara County, the first wind farm on California’s coast, is now online.

The 98-megawatt (MW) Strauss Wind is near Lompoc, on the Central Coast, with Vandenberg Space Force Base to the south, west, and northwest. The location’s 3,000-acre topography is perpendicular to the predominant wind direction from the ocean, making it an ideal location to generate wind power.

Strauss Wind features 29 GE turbines up to 492 feet tall with 220-foot-long turbine blades that produce enough electricity to power up to 40,000 homes. A new 7.3-mile-long, 115-kV transmission line connects Strauss Wind to PG&E’s grid.

The wind farm also features an IdentiFlight bird detection system that uses AI to identify different bird species and curtail the wind turbines when necessary.

Developer BayWa r.e. Wind says that Strauss Wind will generate an estimated $40 million in tax revenue during its 30-year lifecycle and provide annual income to ranchers who have leased land to the project.

Read more: In a historic first, a US offshore wind farm delivers power to the grid [Update]

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