The Siberia Solar project would be built just north of the Marine base, but within view of an active training ground. The project would also be adjacent to the proposed Mojave Trails National Monument, a conservation effort to protect desert landscapes and wildlife along the historic Route 66. The Department of the Interior has shown a propensity to permit energy projects despite environmental concerns in its "fast track" permitting process, but it is not clear if BrightSource will be able to "mitigate" its way out of Department of Defense concerns.
According to a presentation made by the Department of Defense at the July Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) stakeholders meeting, the area where BrightSource wants to build the Siberia Solar project is labeled as a red zone for solar power tower technology, meaning a project there is "highly likely" to pose an "unacceptable risk to national security." The specific reason given for designating the Siberia area as a red zone is "proximity to live fire range," according to Defense documents posted on the DRECP website.
increased efficiency, but this would seem to only pose a greater risk of interfering with military training in the desert southwest, as the heated portion of the tower would then be visible from farther distances.
San Bernardino County --where both projects would be built -- has made it clear that military concerns will trump BrightSource Energy's profit motive, since a county offcial participating in the DRECP stakeholder process affirmed the County's support for the military training and testing bases.