LADWP solar project – what value to Inyo?

Inyo Sups 2013The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wants to build a 200 megawatt solar project south of Independence. LA will get all the taxes from the project and the power. What does Inyo get? Not much, according to a proposed Term Sheet negotiated by Inyo and DWP staff.

The Board of Supervisors approved the non-binding term sheet, created by County Administrator Kevin Carunchio and attorney Greg James, at a meeting last week. Supervisor Jeff Griffiths was the lone no vote. Griffiths said he has not seen even a description of the project, does not know the impacts and wants to see the Draft EIR and the public’s reaction before he votes on anything.

What is known is that the project would include a million solar panels over two square miles and generate 200 megawatts of power. There is no physical description, no knowledge of visibility and ground disturbance and no public input so far.

In the seven page Term Sheet, County staff spelled out what DWP wants to do. The report says once the County okays the Term Sheet, that would become the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding. The Term Sheet is non-binding. That document says LADWP would make a one-time payment to Inyo of $4.5 million to offset project-related costs. County Administrator Kevin Carunchio said the costs to the general fund are estimated at $6.1 million. This would include law enforcement, other services for the several hundred workforce and monitoring of the project.

LA would loan Inyo $2 million to improve County campgrounds and local housing for employees to have a place to live. Carunchio said between 50 and 300 workers could come to town for the project with impacts on Independence and Lone Pine. The CAO said that it is his understanding that the Draft EIR would come out at the end of this month with a final decision by LA at the end of the year. Carunchio said there is a planned five-year build out of the project from 2014 to 2019.

Inyo would not get any tax benefit from this project, according to officials. Supervisor Griffiths said that Attorney Greg James told the Board that DWP’s project would be exempt from property taxes because of a state law. As for taxing materials, LA wants those taxes to go to the City of Los Angeles, not Inyo County. Supervisor Griffiths said that question is not completely answered.

 

, , , ,

34 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Daris
Daris
9 years ago

Here we go again our elected Supervisors making decisions on something that the voting public has no say or input on. Remember these “negotiate behind close doors agreements” come election time how some Supervisors voted on this solar project and the county complex in Bishop.

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago

Covering the dry lake in solar arrays seems more of a win win.. Thanks April for the Info! So they are making loans to Inyo campgrounds, 2 new groundwater wells (yeah, Inyo really needs that) and not even enought to offset costs? Besides LADWP flexing its muscles in way of… Read more »

Mark
Mark
9 years ago
Reply to  JeremiahJoseph

From what I’ve seen in the Antelope Valley covering the lake bed with solar panels wouldn’t help the dust it would actually make it harder to manage. Something would have to be put on the lake bed.. concrete, asphalt or ??? all of which would run the cost up.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
9 years ago
Reply to  JeremiahJoseph

With so many construction professionals with great skill sets in the Owens Valley underemployed the offer of 10 positions of 300-400 provides little benefit to the Valley. Couldn’t agree with you more JJ. DWP, I thought ,was suppose to be releasing parcels for limited growth and economic development. This morning… Read more »

wow
wow
9 years ago

The supervisors already approved this. Why did you not report this as it was being negotiated.

This term sheet is a sell out.
With all the land DWP has out there they need to piss on Manzanar!!!!
DWP you need to go, YOu are too big and powerful

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  wow

I reported it as soon as I knew about it. We did not know Carunchio and James were negotiating.
This was a non-binding Term Sheet. It does not, supposedly, commit the Supervisors.
Benett Kessler

Really ?
Really ?
9 years ago

LA has taken the Water, now they want the sunshine too?

DESCO
DESCO
9 years ago
Reply to  Really ?

April, God bless you for taking the time and having the intelligence to research this obnoxious, underhanded project. “Green” has become both a religion and a political cause. “Green” at any cost is way of life. The two things I never argue about are religion and politics, you can’t win.… Read more »

April Zrelak
April Zrelak
9 years ago

The economice ‘benefit’ consists of: 1) A $2 million LOAN for County campground improvement and public housing or ‘other’. (there is no public housing and the campgrounds belong to DWP , though this is all subject to future negotiations and DWP approval). 2) A $4.5 million payment to offset increase… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  April Zrelak

Very complete analysis. Thanks. It seems as though there is much to be decided. I hope your BOS has the strength and foresight to do the right thing.

Steve
Steve
9 years ago

Let me get this straight. DWP fights tooth and nail trying to not clean up 2 square miles of dusty Owens Lake. But would like to clear 2 square miles of native brush that is holding down the dust from extremely dusty area between Lone Pine and Independence. I think… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago

People who keep saying no, no no, to these kinds of projects keep turning on their lights and air conditioners and microwaves and offer no alternatives to supply their needs. A no to a project like this without a real method to replace the energy that would have entered the… Read more »

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I hear that Ken, those that say no for whatever reason continue to soak up the benefits of such a convenient lifestyle but yet have no other or better ideas, and at the same time not willing to sacrifice anything, especially the “entitlement” feeling we have to such convenience. Our… Read more »

LoneRanger
LoneRanger
9 years ago

Ms. Kessler, LA does not get any tax benefits from this, on the contrary this project will cost LA ratepayers plenty to implement. Inyo county will have numerous direct and indirect benefits from the project and should be careful not to chase it away as they did the Britesource project.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  LoneRanger

The City of LA will get sales tax benefits. I named the only benefits LA has been willing to fork over. Do you know others?
Benett Kessler

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I guess I do not understand what you are saying. Sales taxes in California are only applied to the sale of tangible real property. They are not applied to services, labor or rent. There is no sales tax on electricity. What sales tax benefit will LA accrue from this solar… Read more »

Solar Deity
Solar Deity
9 years ago

I think if people took a drive down to the Antelope Valley and look at the solar farms down there, they would return to Inyo County and not only say no, they’d say hell no.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago

Inyo County might be getting a huge bargaining chip. If Inyo can really stop this project — which would mean a lot of money to LADWP — maybe Inyo can use it to get more water into Owens Lake and more water into the lower Owens River — maybe? But… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Not to mention, secure water for golf courses and government parks leased from LADWP.
BK

bobby
bobby
9 years ago

You gotta be kidding? Have little brief cases full of cash already been handed out? No know impact? No footprint removal? Take the water till this is turned into the new death valley and now pollute the remaining lands? You got rocks all over almost dry now Owens lake, what… Read more »

Big Rick OBrien
Big Rick OBrien
9 years ago

The greed shown by the (city of angels) is never-ending…and Desco is right. Why put it 3 counties away when it contributes absolutely NOTHING to Inyo County but a major blight on the landscape. And don’t think for a moment that they’ll hire locally….they’ll bring in their OWN people, sure… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago

I forgot to mention, the Term Sheet says LA will guarantee to hire…10 local workers.
BK

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago

Do you know where you get your electricity from? Any idea? Do you know where the Hoover Dam is? Or San Onofre Nuclear Plant? Do you know where any power plants are? Do you have a problem with Casa Diablo or Rush Creek or the Gorge power plant? What exactly… Read more »

Talon38c
Talon38c
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I am certain that Mono and Inyo counties would have had the resources to provide power for themselves over time given moderate growth. Certainly not in the scope of Middle and Upper Gorge power plants in Casa Diablo and Control Gorge in Rovana but why would they need that? Those… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Talon38c

Sales tax on the huge amount of materials purchased to build the project.
BK

Mark
Mark
9 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

The majority of material was probably truck in from out of the area

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
9 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Nothing has been trucked in yet. According to officials, there can be negotiations as to where sales tax goes. LA always pulls out its City Charter to claim the right.
Benett Kessler

talon38c
talon38c
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

>> Tell us your solutions to providing the energy necessary to allow people to express their noteworthy viewpoints on blogs like this. Manage growth responsibly. Simple. The reason that LADWP is struggling to provide water and power to LA is because there is no connection between development and infrastructure. They… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
9 years ago
Reply to  talon38c

“Manage growth responsibly. Simple.” That is a great idea! But when has that EVER happened? People are all for responsibility — in others — as long as they aren’t affected. Refer to the previous conversations about DUI checkpoints, Government control of health care, gun control, immigration control, SUV’s and large… Read more »

Hydro Joe
Hydro Joe
9 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Hydro has always been the cheapest and most stable source of power and it will always be the cheapest sourse. Unfortunately the dams necessary to provide the power have sever invironmental impacts on the creeks and rivers they block. The governemental funding of green energy solar/wind is full of coruption… Read more »

Dingo
Dingo
9 years ago

I’ve called them the “Evil Empire” previously and I’m sticking to that.
I don’t trust those donkeys.

John Barton
John Barton
9 years ago

Thanks Jeff for being the only Supervisor to ask questions first.

DESCO
DESCO
9 years ago

Here’s some public input, NO WAY IN HELL. Let them build it way outside Lancaster. The power will be closer to where it will be used and that area is already screwed up. One more eyesore will not make much difference. Two square miles!!! Come on it doesn’t take much… Read more »

Talon38C
Talon38C
9 years ago
Reply to  DESCO

Inyo is becoming nothing more than L.A.’s service porch. How did they come to own this property? Is there anything that LA can’t do?