Inyo Supervisors: revised solar development plan

inyosups4_15At 1:30pm Tuesday, Inyo Planning officials expected to show the Board of Supervisors and the public a revised Draft Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment that would be the basis of an EIR. This document is the result of heavily attended public hearings and strong statements from up to 100 people. The general sentiment was too many large-scale solar and wind development sites and too much potential for environmental and visual damage. The new plan reduces proposed development sites from 14 to 7. The new plan does include the possibility of solar development where DWP wants to build across from Manzanar, but it is not listed as an official development site.

The County’s draft plan says no wind development in the County, and it says that development will be limited to transmission line capacity of 250 megawatts. The proposed development sites include Laws, Owens Lake, Rose Valley, Pearsonville, Trona, Charleston View and Sandy Valley. Planners have set megawatt caps on each area but noted that there is a general 250 megawatt cap overall due to the available capacity in transmission lines.

Potential criteria for solar energy siting in the Owens Valley include only utilizing existing transmission facilities; guiding development to disturbed lands, including over the Los Angeles Aqueduct; considering development at solid waste and wastewater treatment facilities, on private lands, in small-scale and distributed generation arrays of 20 megawatts or less, and around communities in smaller arrays. Planners also suggest mitigation of potential impacts to the environment, society, culture and economy of the County as well as working to avoid significant alterations to visual resources.

Planners have proposed a schedule of public meetings and an environmental review process that will lead to a final Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for the General Plan Amendment. The Board of Supervisors final consideration public hearing would take place in the fall or winter.

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Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

May 9 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama announced steps on Friday to increase the use of solar panels, boost energy efficiency in federal buildings and train more people to work in the renewable energy field. http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/05/09/usa-obama-energy-idINL2N0NV1CY20140509 “It’s the right thing to do for the planet,” Obama said, standing in the… Read more »

Ben Holgate
Ben Holgate
8 years ago

Inyo County may currently be the greenest County in the USA. I have yet to see evidence otherwise. Approximately 1/3 of Inyo’s energy needs are offset by hydro plants. Coso Geothermal produces up to 3000% of our usage (it is carbon neutral, so the CEC considers it to be renewable).… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Ben Holgate

If Inyo County can do more — why not do more? I’m glad Inyo Co. has done so much — why not do more? Renewable energy is a clean industry that dovetails perfectly with tourism — why not do more? Businesses are failing in both Inyo and Mono Counties. How… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Ben Holgate

BTW: I guess the only public input you want is that input which agrees with you. Your reluctance to accept diverging opinion only shows the weakness of your opinion. Fragility when faced with dissenting opinion and hostility in delivering rebuttals are a sure sign of a weak position. This discussion… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

What does it say about your opinion that you are not accepting a divergent view?
BK

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

It says that Holgate did not present a definitive and final argument to the discussion and wanted to discuss the issue further. Who would accept an incomplete argument? To his point of presenting a list of the top 10 greenest counties in the USA — that is impossible for me… Read more »

Ben Holgate
Ben Holgate
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I’m just clarifying your position Ken Warner. You believe, that although Inyo County is the greenest County in the USA, it is selfish of Inyo residents to deny industrial development here. Even though the “green” development being proposed is outdated, inefficient and invasive. Do I have that right?

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Ben Holgate

1) Define what you mean by “greenest”. 2) Prove that Inyo is the “greenest” county in the U.S. with real numbers to back up your claim. 3) What are your solutions for development of renewable energy that is not outdated, inefficient and invasive? Do you have some new technology that… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Ben Holgate

Ben, I find it hard to believe Inyo County can be called one of the greenest counties in the country? If it is, I would guess it’s only due to all our resources. L.A. already bleeds us of our # one resource ,`water. Inyo County has done little until now… Read more »

Bob
Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

With all the wood burning fireplaces I’d hardly call Inyo County one of the greenest counties. There’s the Coso power plant that could be considered green and that’s about it, other than DWP and SCE’s hyrdo power generation sites.

Perhaps I’m missing something

Joe
Joe
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Yeah, Bob, you’re missing something. Wood burning fires are “green”. Wood is a renewable resource unlike coal, nat gas, propane and oil. Burning wood simply recycles back to the earth what the trees used to grow. When people burn more than is being grown, they become “ungreen”. On the eastside… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Mr. Warner , There is a need on this earth to have some places for people to view the wonder of the creation and evolution of the Earth . There is still alot of that available here in the Eastern Sierra. There is still a lot to learn about the… Read more »

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Dear Friend… What about the Don Henley song “Call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye” http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgry2y_eagles-the-last-resort_music I am not a NIMBY, the world is my back yard and there are places in my back yard where solar fields are appropriate. Those places are not between the highest and lowest spots… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

…now THAT is a great post,Mongo….your not an idiot….

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

Yeah, but in the mean time, keep using electricity from places like these to post your poetic musings because. “What? Me worry?”

https://www.google.com/search?q=coal+fired+power+plant&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=n61rU_fPHYP3oAS7uYGwDA&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1227&bih=797

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
8 years ago

Ken, You imply my poetry is lacking, I won’t let this hurt me, I agree I am happiest with my head in the clouds, I won’t belittle you with my words, Two wrongs do not make a right, Two wrongs still makes two wrongs, Why can’t we get it right,… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Philip: “…we are not going to let that occur here…” Have you really looked around you? Do you really think a 1200 acre site is “…square miles of the Owens Valley being filled with anything other than what is there now…”. The Solar Ranch site — which you and your… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I will just point out that it was you who decried not accepting other points of view. Also, the Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch is not scuttled. So far, DWP is still pursuing it. Inyo County excluded that area in its General Plan Amendment, but it’s not at all clear… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Benett: Thank you for pointing that out. I should have said something like considered or cogent or worth discussing. Accept is too harsh. Now about the Solar Ranch: If it’s excluded from the GPA but it still may go forward — what’s all the meetings and drama about? What will… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

That’s true about the megawatt capacity. The Supervisors admitted that control over all this is vague and they are doing the best they can to give the County a position with local regulations.
BK

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Mr. Warner, So gather your friends together, collectively advocate for a common purpose for a vision, for the future . Maybe however you will find that if you first have a purpose and a vision that others can share that you will be able to join with them and then… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Philip: You’re my friend. And you are looking at the World though glasses of convenience that don’t let you see the cost of your little paradise. Your idyllic drive had a cost. Much of the gas you used came from Mexico. And getting that oil does not treat your paradise… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

Inyo County does not get a free pass because it’s not SoCal. What we do here does matter to the rest of the World. http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/05/06/national-climate-assessment/8736743/ “Climate change is here and now, and not in some distant time or place,” said Texas Tech University climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, one of the… Read more »

The Aggressive Progressive
The Aggressive Progressive
8 years ago

True that! Good job OV/Inyo Co. The last time I felt this good about democracy was when Barack made his claim at the Whitehouse…but we all know it was down hill after the inauguration… betrayed his progressive base in major ways, while he blows kisses to the banking/investment industries, you… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

If the same public gave input to Tesla when he was promoting 60 HtZ electricity transmission, we’d all have candle powered monitors.

chris
chris
8 years ago

Inyo Co. planners, thanks for listening to the people!