Lompoc Energy Generation Project

Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.

Client: Acciona Energy North America

Completion Date: On hold

Burns & McDonnell is leading the environmental quality assurance program on the 3,000-acre wind energy project south of Lompoc, Calif., for Acciona Energy North America. The project has three phases using the latest technologies in wind generation. The site is surrounded on three sides by Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The base and the project site support populations of the state and federally endangered Gaviota tar plant and the federally endangered El Segundo blue butterfly that lives on coast buckwheat. Burns & McDonnell was responsible for a team of biologists who conducted jurisdictional delineations, obtained state and federal permits for the listed species during geotechnical studies, conducted rare plant surveys, and collected seed banks for restoration of the site after wind generator towers bases, access roads and facilities were graded.

Burns & McDonnell's responsibilities also included obtaining the 404 permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for effects on federal jurisdictional waters and obtaining a streambed alteration agreement from the California Department of Fish and Game for effects of the project on waters of California. The firm also obtained a meteorological tower permit.

A detailed mitigation and restoration plan covering the biological communities on the site was prepared to support the permitting processes. In addition, other documents and plans in preparation included a Phase I environmental study, an abandonment and decommissioning plan, an acoustic study, an avian and bat adaptive mitigation plan, a golden eagle conservation plan, and a tree protection plan. A low effect habitat conservation plan was prepared for incidental take of federally endangered species during the geotechnical boring.

During construction activities, Burns & McDonnell was responsible for daily biological monitoring of the environmental protective measures required by the County of Santa Barbara and resource agencies. The project involved extensive use of geographic information systems (GIS) and extensive field studies conducted over four years by Burns & McDonnell biologists, subconsultants and other firms.

  • Project compliance with county environmental assurance program
  • Surveys of four state and federally endangered species
  • Habitat mitigation and restoration plans
  • Federal and state jurisdictional delineations
  • Permits from USACE, USFWS and CDFG
  • CRWCB certification
  • Decommissioning and abandonment plan
  • Golden eagle conservation plan
  • Avian and bat adaptive management plan
  • Worker education and awareness plan
  • Acoustic studies