Solar Millennium is desperately trying to fit a square through a round hole with the Ridgecrest project. After the CEC staff announced last year that impacts on the threatened Mohave Ground Squirrel and desert tortoise would preclude it from recommending certification, the company decided to commission a biological study of ground squirrel connectivity so that it could find a way to still build the project in the middle of a corridor linking core populations of the Mohave Ground Squirrel. However, the CEC staff warned that the environmental impacts would still be too great, and the company abandoned its ground squirrel study. In January, the company filed a document with the CEC giving up on the certification process. However, not long after, the company's lawyers indicated that the filing was a mistake, and revived the certification process.
|Wildflowers in bloom on the site of the proposed Ridgecrest Solar power project. The site hosts an active Mohave Ground Squirrel corridor and a robust desert tortoise population.|
Solar Millennium should consider investing in distributed generation--solar panels on warehouse rooftops or over parking lots. You might have to pay some nominal fees at city hall, but at least you won't be driving plant and wildlife into extinction.