California Energy Commission (CEC) Executive Director Drew Bohan has filed a determination that an application submitted for opt-in certification of the Fountain Wind Project proposed in Shasta County is complete. This determination confirms the applicant has provided all necessary information to start the project review phase of the process. It does not approve the project or indicate whether it will be approved or disapproved.
The Fountain Wind Project is the first to go through the 270-day review process under opt-in certification authorized by Assembly Bill (AB) 205. Under this process, the CEC will prepare an environmental impact report (EIR) and decide by July 26, 2024, whether to approve or deny the project. Results of this evaluation will likely set a precedent for future projects of its kind in rural areas of California.
It should be highlighted that Shasta County has twice denied approval of the Fountain Wind Project, with unanimous decisions reached by both the Shasta County Planning Commission and the Shasta County Board of Supervisors. The recent shift of authority stems from the passage of AB 205, transferring jurisdiction over renewable energy projects from local authorities to the state-run CEC.
The County’s stance against this project is grounded in a variety of concerns, including:
- Impacts to cultural resources and Tribal cultural resources of the Pit River Tribe and other Tribal Nations in Shasta County.
- Elevated wildfire risks in an already fire-prone area.
- Impediments to aerial firefighting.
- Impacts to sensitive biological resources.
- State-level overreach of power should the CEC grant approval, following two prior denials at the County-level.
Shasta County invites members of the public to express their opposition to the Fountain Wind Project by submitting an e-comment through the following link: https://bit.ly/FountainWind. Your participation is encouraged to ensure all viewpoints are considered in this crucial decision-making process.