Gonzales, CA - The City of Gonzales is proud to announce that it has taken delivery of, and has begun construction of, a commercial-scale wind turbine on land adjacent to the City’s Agricultural Industrial Business Park. The first of two wind turbines to be constructed by the City, the turbine is intended to provide a clean sustainable source of energy to businesses located in the Industrial Park.
The wind turbine construction project began one year to the day of when the Board of Supervisors approved a Conditional Use Permit and amendment to the Monterey County Code, to allow commercial wind energy systems to exceed 200 feet in height if certain standards are met.
The Gonzales wind turbine is a component of the City’s Community Sustainability Initiative (aka Gonzales Grows Green [G3]). The City already boasts of a robust recycling program for its residents and businesses, has solarized its municipal domestic water well system, and has solarized its municipal wastewater treatment plant. The City’s attention to sustainable practices has saved tax payer dollars and added to the City’s already charmed quality of life.
“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, “ said City Manager Rene Mendez. “Just the first of two wind turbines will account for an 80% reduction in the City’s carbon footprint for its commercial and industrial sectors, which puts the City in line with the objectives of the City’s Climate Action Plan.”
The property on which the wind turbine is being constructed belongs to the City, and so does the wind turbine. The wind turbine will provide power to Taylor Farms/Growers Express, which recently completed the expansion of their vegetable processing and cooling facilities in Gonzales. It is anticipated that the wind turbine will provide approximately 50% of the electrical demand of the Taylor Farms/Growers Project.
The City’s investment in the wind turbine project is minimal, which includes staff time to process permits and seek government approvals. Taylor Farms will lease the wind turbine from the City for 25 years. Taylor Farms has a separate power purchase agreement with Foundation WindPower, a Silicon Valley company that installs and maintains commercial-scale wind turbines for businesses.