Big wind farm planned for California's Yolo County

The Dunnigan Hills wind farm developer estimates it could be up to 600 megawatts, enough to power all the homes in Yolo County.
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The Dunnigan Hills wind farm developer estimates it could be up to 600 megawatts, enough to power all the homes in Yolo County.

Austin-based Pioneer Green Energy LLC, which has raised $20 million to develop wind and solar development projects across the country, is quietly planning to build as many as 400 wind turbines in Yolo County that would generate up to 600 megawatts.

The wind turbines, which would be built mostly on rolling hills used for grazing and non-prime farmland, could be a windfall for farmers and other landowners. The company expects to formally propose the project early next year and it could be operating by 2016.

“If the project can get built … it’s going to probably double, if not triple, the annual revenue to the land owners,” said Fritz Durst, who farms in the Hungry Hollow area.

His family has leased 6,000 acres to Pioneer Green Energy so the company can study wind and possible effects on birds, bats and other wildlife.

In all, Pioneer Green has leased more than 25,000 acres in order to study a wide area of the county, though the project could use much less land, said Greg Buis, a company vice president.

Read more in the Sacramento Business Journal.

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