In a document submitted by Calico Solar LLC (Tessera Solar and Stirling Energy), the company proposes weakening conditions proposed by the California Energy Commission (CEC) requiring it to conserve nearby Mojave Desert wilderness to compensate for the loss of endangered species. The proposed Calico Solar power project would displace or kill at least 100 desert tortoises currently located on the site, in addition to several other special status species, including desert kit fox, burrowing owl and foxtail cactus.
In the original conditions proposed by the CEC Staff, Calico Solar would have to purchase and conserve 14,018 acres of desert tortoise habitat elsewhere in the Mojave to make up for the loss of wildlife and habitat on the proposed site. However, in the document submitted by Tessera Solar and Calico Solar LLC, the company lowers the acreage for which it is responsible to 11,658 acres on "BIO-17", which is the designation for the condition requiring the company to compensate for loss of desert tortoises and habitat.
It's not clear from the submitted document how Calico Solar LLC came to this reduced acreage amount. The company made other changes to the proposed conditions, including shifting most of the language to the verification section of each proposed condition. Hopefully the CEC Staff will be able to interpret the significance of these proposed changes and what impact they may have on the company's future liability for the damage it proposes to impart on Mojave Desert wilderness.