|Much of the desert in this view would have been destroyed to make way for the proposed Calico Solar project. The Cady Mountains Wilderness Study Area can be seen in the distance.|
Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, the solar development policy that it established does include a provision that will now save the site of the Calico Solar project from future destruction by solar developers. The solar development policy created thousands of acres of "variance lands" that will allow industrial energy development outside the solar energy zones, but the policy also created "exclusion zones," where solar companies cannot build due to the environmental importance of the land.
The exclusion zones cover much of the desert in the vicinity of the Calico Solar project, but because the Calico Solar project application was filed long before the solar development policy took effect, the BLM would have allowed the company to proceed with construction as a "grandfathered" project. However, now that K Road is withdrawing the project, the site should now be safe from future ill-sited solar proposals.
|A desert tortoise photographed on the site of the proposed Calico Solar project. Photo from the original draft environmental impact statement for the project.|