As part of its Community Sustainability Initiative, the City of Gonzales, Calif., has begun construction of a commercial-scale wind turbine on land adjacent to its Agricultural Industrial Business Park.
Foundation WindPower, a Silicon Valley-based company, is building the 350-foot-tall wind turbine. Taylor Farms, a food processing company, is leasing the machine from the City for 25 years and is buying the power under a separate agreement with Foundation.
According to the City of Gonzales, the construction project began a year after the Board of Supervisors approved a conditional use permit and amendment to the Monterey County Code to allow commercial wind turbines to exceed 200 feet in height if certain standards are met. This project is the first of two wind turbines to be constructed by the City.
"Harnessing the strong valley breeze that arises in Gonzales every afternoon just seemed like the next logical progression toward making the city more sustainable and less reliant on traditional sources of energy," says City Manager Rene Mendez. "Just the first of two wind turbines will account for an 80 percent reduction in the city's carbon footprint for its commercial and industrial sectors."