Home > Energy > Shell Wind Project 3D model

Shell Wind Project 3D model

Schatz Energy Research Center posted a video model of the proposed Shell Wind Project on Bear River Ridge and what it would look like from nearby vantage points including Ferndale, Loleta, Rio Dell and the Wildcat.


This tour was created with Google Earth by staff at the Schatz Energy Research Center. The contents of this video depict an approximation of the proposed Shell Wind project on Bear River Ridge. The animation and 3D model of the wind farm were created by SERC staff and are for educational purposes only. Images of the 25 wind turbines and their locations are based on publicly available infromation from the Humboldt County Bear River Wind Project website and were created without any input from Shell Wind.

  1. December 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Now visualize the glow from 24 giant red beacons. ‘Bye, stars.

    Who benefits from this? Humboldt has power already.

  2. Thorstein Veblen
    December 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I’m actually ok with this, for the towers themselves. I was in Burney over the holidays, and saw the string of towers there, visually not all that bad. The other stuff about roads and slides, and transmission facilities, and the like, those may be problematic. I’d need a little more info on those aspects. But in concept, I like wind power. A move away from fossil fuels or nuclear is good.

    Or, we could buy oil from Iran to fuel our power plants. Or mine down the Appalachias. Or, we could reduce our demand for electricity. Good luck.

    Or maybe we can break the death grip of the oil/gas/coal industries and really have renewable energy to serve our energy needs.

    So, I’m ok with it if this or similar projects actually replaces other sources and the environmental stuff is addressed. Better than more fossil fuels. I’d actually like to see solar and wind in all of our backyards, on a scale that makes sense.

  3. Dave
    December 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Here’s the story and a few photos of the Windmill story right outside Palm Springs, CA:

    The wind farm on the San Gorgonio Mountain Pass in the San Bernadino Mountains contains more than 4000 separate windmills. Windmills require average wind speeds of at least 21 km/h (13 mph). The largest of these windmills stands 150 feet tall with blades half the legend of a football field. The compartments at the top containing the generator, hub and gearbox weigh 30,000 to 45,000 pounds.

    A wind turbine’s cost can range upwards to $300,000 and can produce 300 kilowatts – the amount of electricity used by a typical household in a month.


  4. Anonymous
    December 27, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    They also had a nice letter in the TS today outlining the reasons for the project.

  5. Anonymous
    December 27, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Looks wonderful. Truly wonderful.

  6. Dan
    December 28, 2011 at 6:52 am

    The film shows an enormous corridor of stripped
    bare land. Does that represent what we can expect?

  7. High Finance
    December 28, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Wind Turbines will have opponents just as any realistic project for energy has, but I don’t see a problem.

    Meanwhile, our own oil shale fields in the midwest have more oil than in all of Saudi Arabia. Developing those fields will result in 200,000 direct jobs and another 1 MILLION indirect jobs. It would also result in keeping hundreds of billions of dollars right here in the US instead of sending it to despots around the world.

  8. Decline To State
    December 28, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Put me down in favor of this project. I’m convinced Humboldt needs the power redundancy. That article in the Times Standard last week by Peter Lehman and Colin Sheppard from the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State gave me pause. We have only a 70 MW electric line connecting us with the grid (while having an average load of 125 MW) and only a single, 12″ gas line connecting us with the rest of the world! Anything (almost) we can do alternative energy-wise to make Humboldt more self-sufficient is okay by me and has my support.

    Besides which, I find the wind turbines to be elegant and beautiful.

  9. Steve
    December 28, 2011 at 7:55 am

    @Dan 6:52 — Bear River Ridge is prairie. No need to clear large areas of forest for the wind turbines. I don’t see an aesthetic problem here, but I know some folks do.

    As I see it, a legitimate concern with wind turbines is death of avians — birds and bats. Perhaps the large, slower-moving blades of the proposed turbines (among other mitigations) will reduce avian deaths. I’d like to see the results of the environmental studies.

    That said, I hope we can find a way forward to develop local renewable energy generation. While the permitting process requires a clear assessment of the project, status-quo imposes costs as well, and these are hidden.

    If we don’t build renewable energy generation capacity, and if we can’t reduce our energy demand, then status-quo involves ongoing climate-change and air pollution damage costs associated with combustion of fossil fuels (primarily natural gas).

  10. Anonymous
    December 28, 2011 at 8:21 am

    The big question is whether the energy generated from this project is intended for use in Humboldt and the North Coast, or if it is destined to be used in the Bay Area. If this is an energy export scheme, then the missing link is the transmission lines, which this Google Earth tool totally fails to address. Failing to discuss transmission lines is to miss one of the most critical environmental impacts from any energy development, no matter how cutting edge the technology. To not have addressed transmission lines in this tool makes it a powder puff piece, nothing more. And Steve’s concerns about death of avians is critical, especially since Bear Ridge is a known route for the rare and threatened Marbled Murrelet, amongst others. This project needs tremendous analysis, including looking at whether or not the site is appropriate and what the intended market for the energy will be before anyone in our community should be getting on board or not.

  11. Anonymous
    December 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I concur with anonymous 8:21, there is many factors that are not being listed here. Is this stay at home energy? In addition the biological consultants on this project need to discuss with outside experts (outside of there firm) on these effects. No cherry picking publications to fit their needs. Also it would be interesting to see if they address the several pairs of N. spotted owls that reside below in those drainage . Many of those pairs move from one drainage to another over that ridge.

    Not fully on board on this one due to the lack of information and the conflict of interest I see in many who are working towards this project.



  12. Dan
    December 28, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Thanks Steve, that is re-assuring.

    HiFi, are you advocating fracking, to harvest the shale fields?

    Natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing chemicals with 10 or more health effects

    • 2,2′,2″-Nitrilotriethanol
    • 2-Ethylhexanol
    • 5-Chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one
    • Acetic acid
    • Acrolein
    • Acrylamide (2-propenamide)
    • Acrylic acid
    • Ammonia
    • Ammonium chloride
    • Ammonium nitrate
    • Aniline
    • Benzyl chloride
    • Boric acid
    • Cadmium
    • Calcium hypochlorite
    • Chlorine
    • Chlorine dioxide
    • Dibromoacetonitrile 1
    • Diesel 2
    • Diethanolamine
    • Diethylenetriamine
    • Dimethyl formamide
    • Epidian
    • Ethanol (acetylenic alcohol)
    • Ethyl mercaptan
    • Ethylbenzene
    • Ethylene glycol
    • Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (2-BE)
    • Ethylene oxide
    • Ferrous sulfate
    • Formaldehyde
    • Formic acid
    • Fuel oil #2
    • Glutaraldehyde
    • Glyoxal
    • Hydrodesulfurized kerosene
    • Hydrogen sulfide
    • Iron
    • Isobutyl alcohol (2-methyl-1-propanol)
    • Isopropanol (propan-2-ol)
    • Kerosene
    • Light naphthenic distillates, hydrotreated
    • Mercaptoacidic acid
    • Methanol
    • Methylene bis(thiocyanate)
    • Monoethanolamine
    • NaHCO3
    • Naphtha, petroleum medium aliphatic
    • Naphthalene
    • Natural gas condensates
    • Nickel sulfate
    • Paraformaldehyde
    • Petroleum distillate naptha
    • Petroleum distillate/ naphtha
    • Phosphonium, tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)-sulfate
    • Propane-1,2-diol
    • Sodium bromate
    • Sodium chlorite (chlorous acid, sodium salt)
    • Sodium hypochlorite
    • Sodium nitrate
    • Sodium nitrite
    • Sodium sulfite
    • Styrene
    • Sulfur dioxide
    • Sulfuric acid
    • Tetrahydro-3,5-dimethyl-2H-1,3,5-thiadiazine-2-thione (Dazomet)
    • Titanium dioxide
    • Tributyl phosphate
    • Triethylene glycol
    • Urea
    • Xylene

  13. Anonymous
    December 28, 2011 at 8:57 am

    The electricity is bought by distant users. However there is no way the electricity will flow out of Humboldt until we have a net surplus of electricity. We are a importer of electricity on a normal basis.

  14. Just Middle Class
    December 28, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Let us hope that this project does not fall prey to analysis parilysis.

  15. Anonymous
    December 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

    “A wind turbine’s cost can range upwards to $300,000 and can produce 300 kilowatts – the amount of electricity used by a typical household in a month.”

    Those who don’t understand the difference between power and energy, nor understand how to accurately characterize or scale either of the two, should probably refrain from tossing around statistics in an effort to criticize efforts to develop new energy resources.

    The average house uses about 300 kilowatt HOURS of electrical energy in a month. That’s equivalent to just ONE kilowatt of electrical power, multiplied by 300 hours.

    A 300 kilowatt turbine can produce that much electrical energy in just one hour.

  16. SNaFU
    December 28, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    We are all being held hostage……….
    The power play is in WA DC, its not because of the lack of US resources readily available above or below ground level.

  17. December 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    What fails to be considered here are the “hidden costs”. Remeber how wonderful all those big dam projects were? All the renewable power we could want forever. Now we’re realizing that power costs millions of fish per year, at the very least. When fish migrate inland, they become a huge ‘protien pump’ carry nutrients from the sea to the land. The land is lessened when the fish are decimated. Now some dams are failing for various reasons (silting, aged cement, maintenance issues) and the cost of removing them has been added to the hidden costs.

    Windmills sound wonderfull, too. But Bear River Ridge is home to thousands of raptors, mostly hawks, that use the same uplifting winds over the ridges to hunt. These raptors eat millions off rodents. It all comes back around. Add the problems with getting the windmills to the site, the roads, the probable slides, the inevitable earthquakes, and this wonderful renewable resource isn’t so wonderful or without cost. I’m not against wind power but this project is too expensive when you consider the whole picture.

  18. December 28, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    As to HiFi’s shale oil, he has not done his homework. Yeah, if we didn’t give a damn about anything else like water and forests and wildlife, we could extract that oil. Then we could burn it and really screw up our planet. Just what we really need is another HUGE source of CO2. Consequences and hidden costs. We are too often blind until it hits us in the back of our heads. I hope HiFi’s house is up on the hill so he’ll be OK when the sea level rises even more thanks to his shale oil. Good thinking, HiFi. I’m glad you’re watching out for our future.

  19. Steak n Eggs
    December 28, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Haha, what you mean by “too expensive” is actually “I’m not against wind power, just not in my back yard”.

    Ge real, thousands of raptors? Millions of rodents?? Yeah…uh huh, great hyperbole.

    There will certainly be impacts, just way more since its in Humboldt County rather than somewhere else.

    But hey, think of the upside…EPIC will sue them on some trivial technicality in their CEQA document, the projects moves forward (slightly mitigated), and the Progs get credit for saving the environment. Its a win-win.

  20. Anonymous
    December 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Right, not in my back yard. I don’t want to look at those, listen to them, or see the bird spoils (can you say “flocks of geese downed in one stroke” ?) so that some rancher can get paid to have them on their property.

  21. High Finance
    December 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Perhaps Dan & Mouse don’t care about jobs but then perhaps you can’t comprehend 1,200,000 HIGH PAYING jobs and the impact it would have on the economy.

    And Mouse, if you really believe that Eureka is about to be flooded out by global warming you should change your name to Mickey Mouse.

  22. Thorstein Veblen
    December 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Why not call it 10 million HIGH PAYING jobs, as long as you use figures that have no basis in fact. Or 50 million? Or, hey, a TRILLION HIGH PAYING jobs.

    But, alas, realism is a bitch;



  23. back in the saddle
    December 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I have to assume that some of you don’t own automobiles as the amount of resource extration to create same and the fuel required to power it just increase global warming and further ruin the quality of life on this finite place where we all live. Does not matter if you bought it used, it still has impacted the earth and you are willing to let that happen so that you can get from here to there when it pleases you.
    Where, oh where, to draw the line.

  24. High Finance
    December 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Got those figures from 60 Minutes Thorstein.

  25. High Finance
    December 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    And Thorstein, you might have bothered to read your own links as it has nothing to do with our midwest oil fields I was talking about.

  26. Plain Jane
    December 29, 2011 at 5:44 am

    It wasn’t 60 Minutes that made that claim, HiFi, it was Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy, and they were talking about natural gas, not oil. Did you miss the part where they were talking to people who didn’t own the gas under their property, which is the case in many states, who are suing the energy companies for destroying their property values, making their homes unlivable, their water undrinkable (and flammable) and killing their livestock?

  27. Thorstein Veblen
    December 29, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I guess I was thinking of a different instance where theres an unsupported estimate of jobs promised if we would just be more accepting of environmental and social devastation. Sorry.

  28. High Finance
    December 29, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Yes Jane I did. But did you listen to 60 Minutes when they reported the 1.2 as fact ? And doesn’t that make sense ?

    For 1.2 MILLION jobs and keeping trillions of dollars in this country instead of sending it overseas I am willing to put up with some damage.

    I swear to God, I despair you guys will never use your heads and keep things in perspective.

  29. WhatNow
    December 29, 2011 at 10:37 am

    High Finance says:
    December 29, 2011 at 10:15 am
    “Yes Jane I did. But did you listen to 60 Minutes when they reported the 1.2 as fact ? And doesn’t that make sense ? ”


    Using 60 minutes as a source of fact is pathetic, at best.

    HIghly Fried, because YOU use your head a suppository not only is your ability to understand and critically process any and all information seriously impeded but so is your understanding of exactly what purpose the human head was designed for.

  30. Plain Jane
    December 29, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Lots of people are willing to put up with some damage, HiFi, in other people’s backyards. Since it is well documented that potable water is a rapidly declining but vital resource, damage to aquifers isn’t the sort of damage that most people will accept. Some resources are just too costly to extract no matter how financially profitable they are for some.

  31. High Finance
    December 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Gee thanks WhatNow. Your eloquence speaks for itself. Your Momma must be so proud.

    PJ, you never surprise me. You only repeat your small narrow preconceived notions.

    But I will try again. Think of the damage that 1,200,000 unemployed people have on society. Think of the benefit putting those people on payroll in high paying jobs would do for society.

  32. Fact Checker
    December 29, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Gee High Ball, thanks for your large expansive completely unbiased and never prejudiced wisdom.

  33. Thorstein Veblen
    December 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    My perspective stems from a lack of faith in the energy industry, indeed most big business these days, to provide an honest assessment of anything, be it job projections, environmental impacts, etc. I do trust the Koch brothers, BP, etc., to do anything in pursuit of profits.

    Many of us are wary of hitching our global wagon even more tightly to hydrocarbon emitting sources of energy. Investing in oil/gas development just takes us further down that road, and hinders efforts on the greener alternatives.

    And it is not only the extraction of gas and oil from underground that is a concern, there’s also the injection of materials, mainly water. Water that will be too polluted to be available for use by people.

    But really, a better way might be to have hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of projects of a scale that aren’t so devastating. Which is why I would tend to favor smaller projects, perhaps like these wind towers.

  34. martha
    January 1, 2012 at 9:52 am

    And directly IN view from Ferndale and the entire Eel River Valley has been built a HUGE Casino and hotel complex complete with wind turbines!
    Not one peep about this! Something that can be CLEARLY SEEN from town and the entire valley.
    And then there’s all the other wind generators all over Ferndale. No one cares.
    And by the way there’s already a huge weather station ( with beacon!!!!) on Bear River Ridge. If any of you actually lived here or had a clue….

  35. No Name
    January 3, 2012 at 10:56 am

    There will be no jobs added to our area. The construction team will come from Shell Wind Corporate. They will only require one or two people for maintenance on the turbines. What hasn’t been addressed is what will happen to the turbines when they are obselete. Our landscape will become a turbine graveyard just as the AltaMont Pass is becoming. The County has not put in conditions to force Shell Wind to remove their obsolete equipment to ensure this doesn’t happen. Investigate this more deeply before jumping on board. The power generated will also be sent to Red Bluff and not used locally.

  36. Rural Lover
    January 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Here is another vote against the project. What limited views are shown here. Park your car at Riverwalk in Fortuna. Watch the sunset over Bear River Ridge. Then raise your voice to keep it looking as lovely as it does now. One tower in the view is enough.

    Wind Farm is a myth. It isn’t a farm. It’s and industrial electricity generating power station. Humboldt County is great as a mostly rural location. Lets keep it that way!

  37. Rural Lover
    January 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    And it’s probably been mentioned, but aside from the fact that some us find the landscape to be lovely the way it is, an investigation of other industrial wind sites will reveal that they are harmful to the watersheds (landslides, erosion, pollution), harmful to wildlife (reduced habitat and direct death), harmful to rural business (livestock produce less, etc), and harmful to people (wind turbine syndrome).

    Please don’t jump on the “green” wagon. It’s filled with brown.

  38. Rural Lover
    January 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    The project doesn’t keep money in the US. Shell is a Dutch company and the components are built overseas (Germany, Japan China).

  39. Rural Lover
    January 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    “To not have addressed transmission lines in this tool makes it a powder puff piece, nothing more.”

    Yes, it is a puff piece. A commercial. And by and large commercials are designed to sell you things you don’t need. If you needed something you wouldn’t need the commercial to find it. You would go out and get it.

    We humans do need to “deal with” our electrical energy consumption and most folks in Hum Co are already doing so. Many are conservative and use little. Many people have small scale solar or wind generated electricity at their homes and businesses. People here compost, recycle, reduce, reuse.

    People here care about, respect, and find measurable value in the products that nature provides without human tinkering. Rivers, forests, scrublands, meadows, beaches, tidelands, woodlands, etc are continually being protected, maintained and used in a stewardship manner by inhabitants and visitors to the area.

    If anyone living here wants to turn Hum Co into an industrial wasteland of defunct nuclear power plants and collapsed turbines, then move. Yep. Move. Those wastelands already exists. Go there if you think it’s so great.

    As for me, to industrial turbines, I say N.O.P.E.

    Not On Planet Earth.

  40. birddie
    January 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Did anyone address the concrete anchors these things need? How well do you think a ridgeline will stand up to being blown up with explosives inorder to pour in 30 feet deep concrete anchors? The site stability as aggregate is collected locally and manufactured into concrete. And how will the watershed deal with the water use needed to make the concrete. And look up the global impact of manufacturing the concrete.

    There is so much involved this video and proposal doesn’t address to the public. They only tell you what they want you to know.

    Try to find out more and maybe your mind will expand to include compassion for more than just your own electrical needs.

    Yeah, I’m a hypocrite, I’m using electricity to share my thoughts. But I’m at least doing so at a library–I’m sharing a resource.

  41. birddie
    January 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    You can see the red strip in the distance through most of the video. That’s pretty unsightly. And having drivin the area I know the ridge is visible from more places.

    Out of sight isn’t out of mind for the contienstious anyway.

    Why try to hide something? Maybe because if we see it we won’t want it.

    Wal-mart hid its name on a project, agro food hides its ingredients and Shell is hiding this.

    Open your eyes. Open your mind. Open your heart.

  42. Anonymous
    January 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    martha, I just discovered this casino over the holidays coming back from a trip to Ferndale. Why are they allowed to do this? The Native Americans have sold out. Money and profit over the land and its conservation. No better than the white man. I have wonderful relatives on the rez and I am surprised by this.

  43. whalewatcher@water.net
    January 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Ferndale City Council voted unanimously “Yes” to a measure opposing all transportation by SWE through Ferndale.

  44. bottomdweller
    January 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Hi, I live in Arcata. I can see the ridge and the radar tower from the bottoms and from Manilla dunes. I love the view and I love nature. I have read and heard that these wind turbines are damaging to the environment. It is hard to understand how damaging the local environment is helpful to the global environment. It seems like something a big oil company is trying to push. I think we should just invest in individual energy saving and generating technologies. Let’s keep Humboldt as lovely and unindustrialized as we can. Thank you.

  45. Jane
    February 21, 2012 at 4:33 pm


    Woah. Stray voltage and lightning hazards, home owner buy-outs and lawsuits. Wonder if the landowners at the ranches/properties involved in this proposal have head from other folks who leased to industrial developers.

    It just seems illogical for ranchers or other rural people to make deals with industrial development corporations. I would have guessed that the priorities of the two groups would be dissimilar. Seems like it is.

    Are these projects safe for people? Even people a few miles away? Or more? If the environment gets destroyed how does that benefit humans in the long run?

    I’m flabbergasted that anyone is supporting this and surprised I haven’t seen the usual environmental supporters out in humboldt protesting this project.

    I, too can see the ridge from Arcata and wonder if the night sky is going to look like it does in the city. That’s what residents in the Lincoln article say. I moved here to enjoy a less urban life. I hope this project fails to get all the permits it needs.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s