Another mega-solar project near Independence

Northland would construct its solar project east of Independence.

Northland would construct its solar project east of Independence.

Within a few miles of the location that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has chosen for a major solar project, another company has plans for an equally large solar array. The Inyo Planning Department is waiting for a go-ahead.

Planning Director Josh Hart said that the Northland Power project is in a holding pattern and planners are waiting for the company to tell them to go ahead with an Environmental Impact Report. The Planning Department did issue a Notice of Preparation for an EIR. That notice says that the project site includes 1,280 acres five miles east of Independence and would operate a photovoltaic power plant generating about 200 megawatts of power.

The notice also says that construction is anticipated to begin in 2014 with operations to start later that year. The Initial Study conducted by the Planning Department shows the potential for significant adverse impacts that would require mitigation.

Asked if this project, not far from DWP’s proposed site south and east of Independence, would create a cumulative impact concern, Planning Director Hart said his staff would have to look at that and analyze it. He said it is a “relevant issue.”

Earlier documents say the project could involve up to 175 construction workers at the peak of construction. Water would be provided by existing on-site wells. Northland Power would interconnect with DWP’s transmission grid. The project also includes an operations and maintenance building with parking for ten or fifteen vehicles.

 

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Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Ned, I kind of like the thought of living in Nevada for several reasons. Like the gun and tax laws. But I have to ask, what good would that do with DWP still owning the water rights?

Ned Battle
Ned Battle
8 years ago

The Owens Valley will soon become a giant maintenance yard for the LA DWP forcing the last non-DWP residents to flee. This type of land use is unprecedented in this long land and water war with Los Angeles and it will turn on the floodgate for the city of Los… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

Is Northland Power a Canadian company?
How many of the workers will come from Canada?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

It’s operations, according to its website, are in Canada.
BK

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

I like solar and own some panels myself. I just don’t want any of the good to be negated by environmental impact, visual or otherwise.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

Killer Watt Warner
Here is the view from just North of the site, It reloads every 5 minutes so look at it frequently to see the subtle changes in the light.
http://www.whitneyzone.com/webcam/will/willi.jpg
Whats wrong with moving the panels to a less visible spot like Saline Valley or beyond Chalfant?”

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago

Because Saline is where we can go to get away from Owens Valley! Saline is even more pristine.

No transmission lines in Saline, and the cost would be astronomical for the return. How about covering the parking lot at Dodger Stadium first?

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

ED I’m all for covering Dodger stadium with this. Why the need to put this in the Owens? Is the install cheaper? Is the UV stronger? Is the Board of Supervisors easier? Is the housing for the Canadian workers less? Is the long term maintenance unimpeded by baseball and concerts… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago

Why? Sale or lease income for landowner. Tax credits. Carbon offset credits. Guaranteed sale of power. Close to power lines. Cheaper install, less maintenance. A lot of things already mentioned.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

Owning the land and having existing power lines are no small potatos. And, yes, the UVs are brighter in the Owens Valley. Do you know what the “June gloom” is? From May through July the LA basin is covered by late night to early ,sometimes mid morning fog and low… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

Silly rabbit, you can see solar installations from a distance and OMG there’s reflections and the 2 square mile foot print is half as large as the whole town of Mammoth Lakes which is 4 square miles of beauty, tranquility and lovely gardens that people come from all over the… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reality Check
Reality Check
8 years ago

Mongo, how does solar compare to the enviromental impacts of coal, natural gas, nuclear or hydro?

Post those links and pick the one with the least environmental hazards.

Everyone wants electricity but no one wants to deal with the reality of what it takes to produce it.

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

And if you want to have light at night when the wind isn’t blowing your only left with using coal, natural gas, nuclear, hyrdo or a candle. The war on coal is crashing the economy in West Virgina. Shouldn’t we find something else for these miners to make a living… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Maybe all those coal miners could learn how to install and maintain a solar photovoltaic; a solar thermal; a wind generation farm; a geothermal site; a waste to energy site; a hydrogen from waste water site; or maybe they could get an education and learn how to be nurses and… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

Reality Check, The valley is special. Spend some time in Independence, talk to the people who live there, watch the mountains change with the light. Take a walk and observe the nature unique to the area. The area has a special evolution because of its placement between two big mountain… Read more »

Reality Check
Reality Check
8 years ago

Mongo, think about these “minor” details:

The transmission lines are here

DWP already owns the property

That makes it a financially sound project

Also consider this; Mongo=NIMBY

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

Realty Check You’re darn tootin’ I don’t want this in my back yard. As far as I am concerned this benefits LA so it should be in LA. The necessary resource, sunlight, is available there; therefore LA should be willing to carry the burden of environmental issues. I am one… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

Hey RC, Just a few more details but I think these are major This particular project is an additional project to the southern adjacent DWP Manzanar Solar Ranch. It is called the Northland Independence LLC Project The DWP does not own this property nor does the Project developer yet. DWP… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

Owen’s Valley deepest valley in U.S. not the place for solar

How about anywhere in Northern L.A. County?

It must be the land that DWP already owns..

this sucks

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Land of the 20 mile shadow Mark. I thought all along this was a tactical move to divert attention from water issues.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

Fact is, LADWP lawyers are smarter than anyone in the valley including the board of supervisors. Once the natural features are completely trashed by water removal and solar power arrays, no one will give a crap about the valley. They have won, stop fighting and use your time wisely. It’s… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago

MTI, Don’t underestimate the power of a guitar. May Woody Guthrie smile on you! And we all could use some music however this turns out.

andy
andy
8 years ago

Wake up people, the Owens Valley is rapidly become and indrustial park for the city of Los Angeles, it is olny going to get more complicated in the future.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

The List of all the pending renewable energy projects that will use the Inyo -Rinaldi Transmission Line ( aka ; Owen’s Gorge-Rinaldi, includes the newly approved Barren Ridge-Rinaldi transmission section of the Owens-Rinaldi Transmission corridor) is at http://www.oatioasis.com/ldwp Click on Generation Interconnection on the bottom left and then click on… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Philip Anaya: excellent report. And if his report doesn’t illuminate the need for a substantial education initiative in renewable energy application, nothing will. Inyo — and Mono — Counties have a grand opportunity to build an educated and experienced pool of available, skilled technicians. I hope that people can get… Read more »

bobbyjoe
bobbyjoe
8 years ago

What’s next for the Eastern Sierras…Skyscrapers???

Reality Check
Reality Check
8 years ago
Reply to  bobbyjoe

bobbyjoe, actually it will be Miley Cyrus at the Lone Pine Film Festival!

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

RC, your statement is true in the current reality. We could change that reality, and I think the folks posting here have some of the answers.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

I like Cyrus; can we also have…
Gordon Lightfoot (Canadian)
and
Bob Dylan
before they are gone too?

DESCO
DESCO
8 years ago

Let’s turn the entire valley floor into one gigantic solar array. People from all over the world will come and squint into the reflected solar glare to marvel at the ingenuity and genius of the green at any price movement. Oh, wait a minute, people already come from all over… Read more »

I'm in
I'm in
8 years ago
Reply to  DESCO

DESCO parabolic power generation and tanning beds. LLC.

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago

M and MTI, Y’all are right that we push this technology legislation through without thinking it out. Even though I push small point of use power plants, I must admit that this is extremely difficult for a utility to manage if they are connected to the grid. Electricity is difficult… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago

PS. Hot the submit by mistake above before editing. Too long winded for here anyway. 1. Use solar primarily for heating at point of use. Passive solar homes. Solar hot water heaters, etc. Direct transfer of thermal energy that is easier to store. Saves petroleum and other fuels for electrical… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

Storage of electricity is a very interesting subject. That’s being studied and worked on by a lot of different people from the electric car people to large scale applications like balancing the grid. Some of the more interesting ideas is to compress air in large underground caverns or pumping water… Read more »

Shine
Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Pumping water uphill (pumped hydro) is existing and proven. I believe compressed air is coming about rapidly. Ultra capacitors are maybe getting closer for vehicle use but not grid. Lead acid batteries are expensive, bulky, and create a lot of hazardous waste. Don’t know much about molten salts. Flywheels and… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Shine

Right. It’s energy storage for the most part unless batteries or capacitors are used. Impossible to say what technology will prevail 20-30 years from now. Probably something we’ve never heard of involving solid state battery/capacitors. Or dilithium crystals….

Reality Check
Reality Check
8 years ago
Reply to  Shine

Using electricity to pump water uphill and store it so it can later be run downhill to produce electricity is at best, 30% efficient. It’s all about ROEI (Return On Energy Invested). It takes about 3 years for a solar panel to make enough energy equal to that energy that… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

Pumped hydro is closer to 70-80% efficient. Not a matter of one over the other. You need both stored energy (oil, water etc.) and solar if you want constant power. Solar panels don’t work at night or when a cloud goes over. So if you want to watch Miley’s live… Read more »

Reality Check
Reality Check
8 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

Eastside, you are correct on tour 80% figure about pumping water uphill. I was thinking in terms of using solar to make hydrogen from water and putting the hydrogen in a fuel cell to make electricity. Lead acid batteries are about 80% efficient since they store electricity chemically. Pumping water… Read more »

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Agree that energy storage will improve, probably enough to resolve the variability problem with wind and solar. The principal obstacle will remain the giant footprints that are required for solar and wind farms, which spawn widespread aesthetic revulsion as comments on here reflect. Wind and solar will improve but never… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

T, I agree, but if those small plants are to be connected to the grid, the utilities will need to have energy storage also. As well as ways to monitor and manage the small plants. I prefer stand alone structures and smaller grids, but the country is moving to bigger,… Read more »

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago

No one is really addressing the need for more transmission and tie lines that will result from more power plants in the valley. POINT OF USE eliminates much of the need for new lines.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

The article states the proposed PV array will transmit it’s output through DWP transmission lines already at the site.

Eastside Dweller
Eastside Dweller
8 years ago

It says it will interconnect with DWP transmision grid. Those lines are on that side of the valley so the connection may be short but will be there. At some point lines reach capacity and have to be upgraded with larger wire or a new line will be put in.… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Maybe they can hire the court house workers.

For The Record
For The Record
8 years ago

Please submit your official, for the record comments and concerns about the proposed solar projects to:
[email protected]
[email protected]

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  For The Record

I think DWP already screwed our valley enough and hope some one we can trust gets this project going.

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

DWP may be bully of the block, but you really want another gang? Remember they are tied to DWP and not you. Might be easier for handful of locals to get jumped in and work with them, but likely they pay half as much as DWP. I lived in a… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  For The Record

Who thumbs downs contact info for official comments?
Is it the two people at DWP who have to tabulate the responses and make them available to the public?

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

I’ll I can say is yuck and hell no.

it kinda serves all the greenies right though.. They push this crap through never thinking it would end up in the Owen’s Valley.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

I had no idea green energy would be so huge and ugly. Sort of like “solar ranch”, the deceptive name “green energy” conjures images of trees, clean blue skies, and happy people enjoying obscured views. Mongo is continually surprised by the virtually endless layers of stupidity that plague him. Recently,… Read more »

Reality Check
Reality Check
8 years ago

Mongo, it’s either a solar plant here or a coal or natural gas plant in someone elses backyard. America’s need for electrical energy continues to increase.

Your choice.

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Reality Check

My choice Realty Check? Two wrongs don’t make a right. Also, closed ended questions can be deceptive; we don’t have to choose either, both, or neither. Don’t put it in anyone’s backyard or on the Sierra Scenic Byway; move it over one valley where very few people go. This way… Read more »

Mongo The Idiot
Mongo The Idiot
8 years ago

I am very un-happy about this. These people who are not even from here are destroying the Eastern Sierra. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE THAT IS NOT ON A SCENIC BYWAY!!!
“The Initial Study conducted by the Planning Department shows the potential for significant adverse impacts that would require mitigation.”

dean
dean
8 years ago

Great news. This should create a few well-paying and sustainable jobs for the area even after construction is completed.