No. Myth Fact
#1 Fountain Wind’s review by Shasta County prevents the project from seeking approval from CEC There is no such prohibition under California law. The CEC has the discretion to approve Fountain Wind, and ConnectGen has submitted a new permit application to the CEC. The CEC will review the project on a “de novo” basis.
#2 Fountain Wind will prevent CAL FIRE from using air tankers or helicopters when responding to a fire CAL FIRE disagrees. Per written response from Shasta County Fire in the Planning Commission staff report “the presence of the turbines would not result in the creation of a no-fly zone.”
#3 Fountain Wind will not provide community benefits Much like the Hatchet Wind project, ConnectGen has committed to providing $2.8 million in direct funding for the benefit of the residents of Shasta County, with a focus on the communities of Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, Burney, and all of Shasta County. These areas of focus were identified based on direct feedback from members of the community.
#4 If Fountain Wind is abandoned, the County will be stuck with the bill for decommissioning Per ConnectGen’s application to the CEC, before the issuance of Building Permits, ConnectGen will be required to perform a third-party decommissioning study to establish the cost of decommissioning Fountain Wind. ConnectGen will then be required to post a financial guarantee in the amount identified by the study. ConnectGen is also obligated by the term of the lease agreement to restore the site at the end of Fountain Wind’s life.
#5 We don’t need the energy produced by Fountain Wind here in Shasta County Wind energy is part of both Shasta County’s and the state of California’s energy independent future. In addition, state law requires all electricity providers, including REU, the City of Shasta Lake, and PG&E, to procure 44% of their electricity from carbon-free resources by 2024 and 100% by 2045. The energy from Fountain Wind will help local utilities meet state mandates and provide a local, low-cost source of electricity to safeguard Shasta County from rolling black outs such as the one experienced in the Summer of 2020.
#6 The energy produced by Fountain Wind won’t stay here in Shasta County Fountain Wind interconnects to the electric grid on a 230 kV transmission line between the Pit #1 Dam and the Cottonwood substation. Once the electrons are put on the grid, they will flow to the Cottonwood substation, and from there, flow out into the local PG&E distribution grid. Energy consumption tends to take place near the generation source, therefore the energy produced by Fountain Wind will likely be used locally.
#7 Fountain Wind will negatively impact local property values Many studies have shown that wind projects do not have long-term negative impacts on the value of neighboring properties. The U.S. Department of Energy conducted an analysis of property values of 50,000 homes among 27 counties in nine states. These homes were within 10 miles of 67 different wind facilities. The comprehensive study concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that wind farms had a negative impact on property values. A study of property sales in Round Mountain, Burney, and Montgomery Creek conducted by Shasta Voices concluded that home values have in fact risen since the Hatchet Ridge Wind Project was built.
#8 The wind resource isn’t strong enough in Shasta County to support a commercially viable wind project The successful operation of the Hatchet Ridge Project along with over 10 years of data collection on the Fountain Wind site leaves no doubt that the wind resource in Shasta County is more than capable of supporting a commercially viable project. ConnectGen would not invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Shasta County if the wind resource wasn’t commercially viable.
#9 Approval of Fountain Wind will turn Shasta County into the next Altamont or Tehachapi There is insufficient transmission capacity to support new large-scale wind energy projects other than Fountain Wind in this region, making additional projects infeasible. ConnectGen is not proposing any additional phases or projects in Shasta County, nor are other developers filing applications for wind energy projects here.
#10 Fountain Wind will negatively impact the Round Mountain Substation and the surrounding grid Fountain Wind interconnects to the 230 kV Pit #1 – Cottonwood Transmission line, not the Round Mountain Substation. The California Independent System Operator has determined the project can reliably connect as proposed and presents no negative impacts to the grid.
#11 Fountain Wind is a hazard to airplane navigation in the area In July 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration issued Determinations of No Hazard to navigable airspace for all turbines in the project. These determinations were issued for turbines up to 679 feet tall; however, Fountain Wind anticipates using turbines up to 610 feet tall.
#12 The Fountain Wind turbines will cause increased lightning strikes in the project area Wind turbines do not cause lightning strikes. Lightning is a result of electrical energy in the atmosphere, a phenomenon that occurs everywhere, including in Shasta County. Every turbine will be installed with appropriate grounding to ensure that in the event of a lightning strike, the surge of electricity will be safely discharged into the ground. From a fire safety perspective, it is safer for lightning to strike a grounded structure, such as a turbine and its vegetation-free turbine pad, than it is to strike standing timber in the area.
#13 Fountain Wind will impact local water tables and water flows Turbine foundations will be installed approximately 10-12 feet below ground level and will not impact water tables. Existing stream crossings will be replaced with enhanced crossings per California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s standards, which will lead to improved water flows through the project area with less erosion and sedimentation.
#14 The noise from the Fountain Wind turbines will impact area landowners Fountain Wind has been sited and designed to meet all Shasta County noise standards.
#15 Green energy isn’t green, wind turbine blades can’t even be recycled The carbon used to manufacture components, deliver, and install will be offset within the first 6 months of operations. Further, 90% of a wind turbine is recyclable, and the industry has made great strides towards recycling options for the fiberglass blades as well, which will continue to increase the percentage of recyclable material.
#16 All Fountain Wind turbines will be visible from Montgomery Creek and Round Mountain Multiple turbines have been removed from Fountain Wind’s layout, many of which were visible from Montgomery Creek and Round Mountain. Fountain Wind’s current visual simulations have been submitted as part of the CEC application. These simulations depict portions of nine turbines, which are visible from the selected KOP views at Montgomery Creek (KOP2) and Round Mountain (KOP3) respectively. From both locations, portions of visible turbines would be between 3 and 6 miles away.
#17 Wind farms don’t belong in forested timberlands. A viable wind project location must have three attributes: 1) a commercial wind source, 2) a transmission line with existing capacity, and 3) compatible land use. The Fountain Wind project area has all three, and many existing windfarms are sited in forested lands in the northeastern U.S. as well as the Pacific northwest. The Fountain Wind project area is very much compatible with wind development. A portion of forestland will be removed from active timber production (up to 475 acres), while the remaining area can continue to be managed following existing harvest practices.
#18 The tax revenues that will be paid to Shasta County by Fountain Wind represent a drop in the bucket compared total county revenues Shasta County’s Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget document indicates the County is projected to have discretionary revenues of $66.7 million, with approximately $60 million coming from tax revenues. The Fountain Wind Project will be the largest investment in Shasta County since the Shasta Dam and will provide a near-term contribution of $3.5 million in sales tax, as well as over $50 million in property tax revenues over the life of the project.
#19 Taxpayer money will be used to build, maintain, and operate Fountain Wind Taxpayer money will not be used to build, maintain, or operate Fountain Wind. Depending on what laws are in effect when Fountain Wind is built, the project may benefit from a federal tax credit that is based on the amount of energy that is produced.
#20 Wind turbines don’t perform well in cold weather The wind turbines that will be used for Fountain Wind will be designed and manufactured to handle extremely cold temperatures and inclement winter weather. There are thousands of turbines sited throughout the United States in states like Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, and North & South Dakota that successfully operate during the wintertime.
#21 Fountain Wind will have a significant impact on habitat fragmentation as well as birds and bats ConnectGen has made extensive commitments to avoid and minimize potential impacts to avian and bat species. Fountain Wind utilizes preexisting access roads to the maximum extent practicable to limit increases to habitat fragmentation. ConnectGen has coordinated with USFWS and CDFW throughout development. In additional to Applicant-proposed mitigation measures, ConnectGen has committed to all mitigation measures outlined in Shasta County’s FEIR and Conditions of Approval.

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