Friday, June 1, 2012

Calico Solar Gets Boost From California Legislature

Despite strong opposition from environmentalists, the state Assembly approved controversial legislation that allows a solar energy developer to bypass local agencies in seeking to build a large-scale power plant in a valley that is home to desert tortoises, golden eagles and bighorn sheep.

The nation’s leading environmental groups see K Road Power’s proposed 663-megawatt Calico Solar plant, about 37 miles east of Barstow, as one of the most ecologically damaging renewable energy projects in the California desert.

If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the bill as expected, San Bernardino County government will have no formal say in the process. Neighboring Kern County also opposed the bill out of concern that Calico Solar posed a threat to local control of projects that can occupy hundreds and sometimes thousands of acres.

Under the bill, approved by the Senate in March and passed 56 to 10 in the Assembly on Thursday, Calico Solar may now go directly to the California Energy Commission with its application for approval. Environmental groups believe that the commission is predisposed to overlook their concerns because its mission is to help the state meet one-third of its electricity needs from renewable resources by 2020.

Read More

No comments: