LA meeting on solar ranch draws opposition

ladwp

LADWP headquarters, Los Angeles, hosted some 75 people on the solar ranch project.

At a meeting in Los Angeles Saturday, Japanese-Americans and Owens Valley people expressed their views on Department of Water and Power’s plans to build a mega-solar plant across from the Manzanar Historic Site in the Owens Valley. According to local people at the meeting, DWP also extended the public comment period, for the second time, through November 26th.

Les Inafuku, Superintendent of Manzanar, had asked for a meeting in Los Angeles to accommodate the southland Japanese-American community. The meeting was held at DWP headquarters and saw some 75 people attend, including DWP General Manager Ron Nichols. People there said Nichols made an opening statement about DWP’s need to develop renewable energy but did not respond to the many objections to the project.

According to locals in attendance, 29 people spoke and all opposed the project. These included grandchildren of Manzanar internees and former internees themselves, human rights organizations and locals such as Mike Prather who spoke against a project of the proposed scale in the Owens Valley. Assistant Professor Barry Lehrman of Cal Poly spoke. He and his students have organized a project to detail the need for an equal relationship between DWP and Inyo-Mono.

The Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch Project would unfold on 1200 acres southeast of Independence, across from the Manzanar Historic Site and east of the Owens River. DWP plans to build the one million solar-paneled, 200 megawatt project next year.

Inyo County has lodged numerous complaints in their comments on the project, including dust pollution, visual impacts, lack of a reclamation plan, failure to consider the Long-Term Water Agreement regarding two new wells, failure to comply with the Inyo General Plan, housing impacts and impacts to the Lower Owens River. The County’s comments are available at inyoplanning.org, and DWP’s Draft EIR can be seen at all County libraries and at ladwp.com.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA released a study that advocates installation of solar panels on 5% of available rooftops in LA County.  Their study says this would create 29,000 new jobs and reduce carbon emissions. They call it the “solar atlas” and a guide to planning where to expand renewable energy.

Send comments on the Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch Project to:

Ms. Nadia Parker
Environmental Planning and Assessment
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
111 North Hope Street, Room 1044
Los Angeles, California 90012

Or email to [email protected] or [email protected]

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dusty dick
dusty dick
8 years ago

Lecktrix must have a short or juice leak in his cranium or fuzeboxx.. the desert floor holds equal beauty, enviromental value and meaning to anything /place you mentioned.(cabin in the pines crap)…like why not tap the water up in the high sierras, behind your cabin- at its source instead of… Read more »

Lecktrix
Lecktrix
8 years ago

Let it go… Big buisness will prevail.. Solar power is good. It generates work, maintenance work, etc. Protect whats beautiful… The desert floor is the desert floor… And you wont be able to see it from the manzanar site, unless you climb the search tower, but thats off limits to… Read more »

Joaquin Murrieta
Joaquin Murrieta
8 years ago

Trouble, Dusty Dick, Russ, that is what I’m talking about; the free flowing exchange of ideas aimed at best possible solutions that most people could live with.
Excellent work!

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
8 years ago

Free flowing exchange of ideas? I like that platform, gonna get a lil controversial here…. lets imagine we (Human/Western Capitlaism) is the MAIN reason our planet is going through major climate destabilization, lets imagine we are the reason the CO2 levels have climbed to the levels they are today, wouldn’t… Read more »

Russ Monroe
Russ Monroe
8 years ago

Excellent proposals Joaquin. How about taking the improvements a step or two farther? Such as: -set those ‘smaller’ panel fields up as alternative “propulsion” stations, places where electric vehicles can charge up and hydrogen powered vehicles can “gas” up at no cost to the user -invite alternative propulsion manufactures from… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Russ Monroe

You are on the right track but many smaller solar generation stations are not better than one big one. In fact they would be more expensive and more disruptive to the environment. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out why. And lets try to keep the invention, innovation… Read more »

Eastern Sierra Local
Eastern Sierra Local
8 years ago

Joaquin Murrieta- is it true you knew Frank Shaw? And what would Frank Shaw do about this?

Joaquin Murrieta
Joaquin Murrieta
8 years ago

Don’t know frank Shaw.

dusty dick
dusty dick
8 years ago

Put this pet project in Keeler for a micro-viability study, Roof a % of the houses with solar panels . if model proves successful by the powers that be. Surround the town with 1200 acres of LA power Panels, Keeler is a scarred and overworked toxic waste dump anyway,, likely… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Joaquin-I’m not sure putting them closer to home is a very good suggestion. I really don’t want them in my back yard.

Joaquin Murrieta
Joaquin Murrieta
8 years ago

Lets face it; Owens Valley and the Eastern Sierra is just as precious as The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Bryce, Jackson Hole, Glacier NP, and many other North American locales. Dovetail this with the rich history and coincidental preservation of open space and you have an asset that cannot be impaired.… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

The Owens Valley equivalent to Yellowstone or Yosemite? Really? It’s a nice place but not remotely comparable to a national park.

Joaquin Murrieta
Joaquin Murrieta
8 years ago

Dessert Tort, The Owens Valley is a strip only a few miles wide sandwiched between Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Park, Kings County National Park and Ancient Bristlecone Forest. It is home to The Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway, Manzanar, the historic Fish Hatchery, numerous Native American sites, hiking, fishing,… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

Agenda. Sigh. Everyone doesn’t have an “agenda” so cut the nonsense. There is no agenda. I live in the same region you do. It is a nice area but it is not of the quality of a national park. There is nothing in the Owens Valley to rival Half Dome… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

Maybe some people prefer the cloud of emotion through which to see their lovely surroundings. We see differently.
BK

JeremiahJoseph
JeremiahJoseph
8 years ago

May I beg to differ Desert? Don’t mind if I do, The lakes in the sierras are pretty dang majestic, That big rock they call Winnedumah is also very much another gazing point of wonder.. The cultural significance in the southern inyo (Coso Mountians/Hotsprings) is a place of healing and… Read more »