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Wind turbine blades transported along local roadways to project near Lompoc

wind turbine blade orcutt.JPG
Posted at 5:33 PM, Sep 29, 2021

The first wind project on the California coast and in Santa Barbara County is coming to Lompoc.

Eight-seven massive wind turbine blades are starting to make their way through city streets.

It's a project more than two decades in the making and some Central Coast drivers and Lompoc residents have a front-row view.

"It was pretty astonishing. It's really big. Like when we first saw it, you can see it above the tops of the houses," said Amanda Brooks of Lompoc.

"It was humongous. I can't describe it and I kept saying how did they, you know, make it come through the streets because we have telephone wires and trees. But they made it through," said Bertha Arredondo of Lompoc.

The first wind turbine blade coming in at over 200 feet made its way through Bertha Arredondo's neighborhood last week.

"They had their phones videoing, taking pictures. Big excitement that day," Arredondo said.

"It really felt like almost half the town was here like it was a parade or something," Brooks said.

A couple of the wind turbine blades made their way past the KSBY studios on Wednesday. We also spotted them turning from Union Valley Parkway onto State Route 135.

"It's huge. It's kind of mind-blowing," Brooks said.

More than 200 oversized loads are set to make their way to Lompoc from the Port of Stockton for the Strauss Energy Wind Project being constructed southwest of the city.

Formerly known as the Lompoc Wind Project, development began in 2001 with developer Baywa R.E. Wind taking over in 2016.

"I think it's awesome and everybody else says our electric bill should be going down," Arredondo said.

With a total capacity of up to 98.8 MW, the project will generate enough clean renewable energy to power nearly 44,000 homes.

The loads will be transported weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. from West Ocean Avenue to South F Street. Then to Cypress Avenue to I Street and finally to San Miguelito Road.

"The truck they carry it on is really impressive also because it has to adjust the blades so that it can go over the tops of trees and around corners and not hit houses," Brooks added.

The loads will continue through late November or early December.

When all is said and done, 29 wind turbines will be constructed, generating energy from the winds that blow off the ocean.

More component deliveries will be happening on Thursday with two more turbine blades making their way through town on Friday.

The project will create about 150 construction jobs during the building phase with four to six permanent employees.

The developer says the project will generate an estimated $40 million in tax revenue during its 30-year life cycle.