Solar Ranch equals 1.9% of DWP’s renewable energy requirement

sovsrWhen Department of Water and Power official, Michael Webster, visited the Inyo Supervisors this month, he revealed that DWP has several solar and renewable energy projects either breaking ground or about to. So, how much of the renewable energy picture is the controversial Solar Ranch south of Independence?

At the April 15th meeting, Webster said DWP has already achieved 20% of its power generation from renewable energy sources. The State has mandated that utilities generate 33% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2020. So, DWP needs 13% more. LA has plans for all of that.

After the meeting, Webster did provide Sierra Wave Media with more details about where DWP will get its power. He said 1.9% of the remaining 13% of renewable energy needed will come from Copper Mountain which is a 210 megawatt solar project in Eldorado Valley. Another solar project, Moapa Southern Paiute Solar, 30 miles northwest of Las Vegas, will provide 2.44%. It is a 250 megawatt project. The Southern Owens Valley Solar Project is 200 megawatts and will contribute 1.9% of the 13% still required.

The three projects equal 6 3/4% of the requirement. Webster said the rest of the renewable energy demand will come from projects from “other parts of DWP’s transmission system and locally in LA.”

Owens Valley people continue to strongly oppose the Solar Ranch project which is 1.9% of the State’s mandated 33% renewable energy from DWP. Organized locals along with the Manzanar Committee have kept a sharp eye on DWP’s environmental review of the Solar Ranch project and have vowed to continue their opposition.  DWP says continued comments or questions can be sent to:

Chuck Holloway

111 North Hope Street, Room 1044

Los Angeles, CA  90012

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10 Responses to Solar Ranch equals 1.9% of DWP’s renewable energy requirement

  1. salblaster April 21, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    ken, i live in LP and like you i was skeptical that the solar ranch could even be seen from 395 and manzanar. I ride my quad thru that area when I go prospecting for crystals and minerals, strictly amatuer not sure what i’m doing, but learning. the last couple times i went thru there I stopped at a couple of locations where the proposed site is and looked west to 395 and manzanar, line of site to see what i could see. I could see cars on 395 from Alabama gates (aka skinny gates) to the hill top about 3 miles south of indy, and could see mazanar real plain. thats about a seven mile stretch or 7 minutes in a car driving down or up 395. when i drive 395 thru that stretch of road and look toward the proposed solar site, i can see it for sure. but its only for seven minutes and most people are looking at the sierra’s anyway.

    • Ken Warner April 22, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      salblaster: It’s good that you went out to look. Much of this discussion is about imaginary demons. The opponents say that the Solar Ranch will destroy the viewshed from Manzanar and will destroy tourism. I think that’s magnifying what will really be.

      In the Summer, the heat shimmer off the super heated valley floor will make something that is 5 feet tall really hard to see if not impossible. Plus, the LA aqueduct and twin siphons that run the whole length of the valley plus the twin transmission lines that are much taller than 5 feet and run right down the valley next to the Solar Ranch site don’t seem to have done great damage to either the viewshed or tourism.

      Here’s another thing — you ride a quad out there. I don’t have any problem with that because there’s already roads. But the people who claim environmental damage from dust should take a look at the dust clouds OHV’s raise behind them. There’s lots of OHV’s and lots of dust and there’s been no voiced concerns about that.

      I think that most — if not all of this controversy — is simply because LADWP is doing it. People — rightly so — hate LADWP and will stand against anything they do.

      I wonder if NASCAR was proposing to build a race track in about the same area if there would be a lot more support for that idea. Think of the tourist dollars….

      • Concerned Citizen April 24, 2014 at 8:44 am #

        I like the term “Imaginary Demons” people who oppose this plan should come up with better reasons to hate it, solar is the way to the future. Seems to me that every time DWP gets mentioned in the Sierra Wave News they are always the bad guys,no matter what, I do understand the history of the water wars, but I also often wonder how it would have been if they didn’t owned all this land, I can certanly picture mayor developers rushing to buy the land for the only puropose of ripping it apart disturbing and killing our wildlife, this land could potentally turn into another Reno if DWP gets fed up with all the law suits and opposition they constantly face.

        • Benett Kessler April 24, 2014 at 9:46 am #

          This story on DWP’s solar project presents facts DWP provided and the fact that there is local opposition. Your tired diatribe about what would have been without DWP is irrelevant. DWP foments most of the lawsuits. The last DWP General Manager said it’s cheaper to hire lawyers than to pay for mitigation of the Owens Dry Lake. We won’t go into other facts about DWP. You don’t seem particularly interested.
          Benett Kessler

          • Ken Warner April 24, 2014 at 10:48 am #


            “This story on DWP’s solar project presents facts DWP provided …” And not a word in your post about the benefits of the solar project itself. Its all, “I hate LADWP.”. I can see where that hate comes from. But the Solar Ranch is not stealing resources for LA like some say. You can’t steal sunshine. If it doesn’t make electricity, it just heats lizards.

            Once it’s there, the Solar Ranch will be quiet and non-polluting and it just sit there making electricity. Regardless of how much you hate LADWP — that’s a good thing. Every watt the Solar Ranch produces is a watt that isn’t produced by burning coal.

            And please, don’t tell me about the corruption of the viewshed or the lost tourism dollars. There isn’t a single fact to support those allegations.


            The opponents of solar energy in Inyo County want their own little back yard to stay nice. The rest of the World — eh, who cares?


    • Ken Warner April 22, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      And do you really want to talk about destruction of viewshed?

  2. Ken Warner April 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Benett: Got it. Thank you. Very interesting. The “Fact Sheet” claims 440 Mega Watts. Recently in one of your stories, LADWP quoted 200 Mega Watts. Also, LADWP implies that 350 jobs would be provided both temporary and long term.

    Like most things, promoters hyper-inflate the good things and it’s not clear what the actual end result will be. The actual layout is East of the Owens River and the transmission lines. It’s snugged up against 3d.road which is a good long distance from Manzanar.

    Also, “The mounted panels would have a low profile, slightly tilted, ranging from 1 to 5 feet above ground.” Nobody can see something that is 5 feet high in that location from Manzanar.

    It’s going to take a while to resolve this.

  3. Ken Warner April 21, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    Benett: Could I get a larger image of the Solar Ranch site map? The one you published is so small I can’t make out any details.

    • Benett Kessler April 21, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

      I thought I sent you one via email. I’ll do it now.


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