Library filed under Impact on Landscape from California
All were concerned that federal officials recently embarked on a reconsideration of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. They urged the county’s board members to speak out against the expansion of sites where solar and wind energy farms will be allowed.
The Department of the Interior temporarily shut down construction of the Tule Wind Energy project in McCain Valley on January 20th due to six confirmed violations of the right-of-way grant conditions, including “three incidents of ground disturbing work without a cultural monitor present and three incidents of clearing beyond the disturbance limits at four different locations,” according to the notice of temporary suspension issued January 20th.
The attached communications between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Iberdrola/Tule Wind detail the BLM's notice to suspend construction of the 186 MW wind project due to repeated violations of the right-of-way permit issued by the BLM. The Tule facility initiated construction on December 6, 2016. The notice to stop construction was issued on January 20, 2017. Construction has now resumed. Both the notice to suspend construction and to resume construction, which includes Iberdrola's response to the BLM, can be accessed by selecting the document links on this page, A portion of BLM's notice is provided below.
“We endorse renewable energy, but this was the wrong project in the wrong location.”
That Environmental Impact Statement assumed that Bechtel would be able to use existing transmission lines on the site to get power from Soda Mountain to Los Angeles. But those transmission lines belong to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which announced in June — the same week as the Soda Mountain EIS was released — that it wouldn't be buying power from the project. LADWP said that the project would be too environmentally destructive to justify their becoming a customer. ...And without that transmission, it's unlikely the project will ever obtain a contract with a utility to sell its power.
Strong arguments drive the development of solar and wind power. Many have to do with “protecting the environment.” Ironically, it's this last point – the big “E” – that seems to make the reduction of deserts into rural-industrial wastelands acceptable to many people.
About 100 people attend a forum in Morro Bay hosted by Trident Winds. Residents questioned officials about impacts to fishing, views, lights and the environment. Trident plans to file the first of three dozen permit applications in January
The first phase identifies national conservation lands and designates areas of critical environmental concern, wildlife allocations, and national scenic and historic trail management corridors to conserve biological, cultural and other values. Furthermore, the DOI says special recreation management areas and extensive recreation management areas are identified to recognize and promote recreational opportunities and public access. Thus, these lands would be closed to renewable energy and benefit from adaptive management in the face of climate change, the agency explains.
“All these agencies and companies are in lockstep on this green energy rush, whether it’s actually beneficial to us or not,” said Donna Tisdale, a resident of Boulevard in East San Diego County. Tisdale is leading the lawsuit against Energía Sierra Juárez, which also names the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Among other things, the lawsuit claims the Department of Energy issued a Presidential Permit without considering environmental impacts in Mexico or alternative clean energy projects, as required by law.
Vast acreages of land are being earmarked for the development of wind and solar projects. These aren’t mom & pop proposals to build rooftop panels or small windmills; instead, they are being planned and constructed on a scale that should stagger the sensibilities of anyone with an environmental conscience. It represents the wholesale destruction of vast areas of the West. ...the subsequent environmental damage cannot be understated. And yet suddenly, environmentalists don’t seem to notice...or care.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday it had eliminated a quarter of the proposed Soda Mountain Solar project but will allow most of its construction on nearly 2,000 acres near Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. ...The project is in an area where such development would be prohibited under the proposed Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.
An ancient, sacred Mohave Indian tribal site has been destroyed as a result of the Obama administration's push for solar development on public land. The facility at issue is the Genesis Solar Energy Project plant at Blythe, Calif., which sits in part on the site.
The California desert may be a green energy developer's dream, but county officials have serious concerns about a plan to manage renewable energy projects on 22 million acres of the state's sunniest public and private lands.
Response by Donna Tisdale to Supervisor Dave Roberts’ opinion published in East County Magazine
The Interior Department is being sued by Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo tribes — collectively called the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) — for siting a solar plant on sacred tribal lands, including burial grounds and sacred sites in California’s Mojave Desert.
The Bureau of Land Management on Thursday denied a Spanish company's application to build a controversial renewable energy facility in the Mojave Desert's remote Silurian Valley, deciding the sprawling project “would not be in the public interest.” ...Among the specific concerns the BLM noted were that the facility would disrupt migration corridors critical to bighorn sheep and other wildlife.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California's Department of Fish and Wildlife have criticized its proposed location: a valley that serves as a crossroads for three major wildlife corridors and an important avian flyway. They warned that the long-standing migration corridors would be disrupted and wildlife would be injured or killed in the wind project's turbines or the solar project's superheated panels.
While the plan covers all renewable energy development. ...The plan's preferred alternative does not, however, create new zones for wind development in either Riverside or Imperial County, with few areas opened to wind overall. Nancy Rader — executive director of the California Wind Energy Association — said in a statement the industry's "worst fears are being realized."
A new study claims that California could power itself entirely with wind, water, solar, and geothermal energy by 2050, ...The catch is that California would need to build miles utility-scale solar power plants and wind turbines covering 3,426 square miles of the state with offshore wind installations covering an additional 1,406 square miles of the Pacific Ocean.
It may well have been embarrassing to PSH to have a Big Ten Green Group as fully committed to the war on Climate Change as the Sierra Club become a hostile intervenor to their project. One might have concluded that there's something to the criticisms of Palen's benefit to the climate not being worth the damage the project may cause.