Calico and Ivanpah Solar Hearings This Week

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is expected to hear any final opposition to the Calico Solar power project on Thursday, 28 October.  Tessera Solar LLC's Calico Solar power project is proposed for over 7 square miles of public land just east of Barstow, California.  The project is eligible for American Reinvestment and Recovery Act grants and loan guarantees.  The CEC already issued the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision in favor of the project last month, but has to finalize the decision following the end of a 30-day public comment period. 

Separately, the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System is already under initial construction on 5.6 square miles of public land in the Mojave Desert, but Basin and Range Watch petitioned the CEC to reconsider its approval of the project.  The CEC will hold a hearing on the petition on Tuesday, 26 October.  Basin and Range Watch noted that the CEC dismissed biological evidence regarding the genetic significance of the tortoise population in the Ivanpah Valley as "speculative." According to the Desert Tortoise recovery plan, the evolutionary significant units of the endangered tortoise need to be preserved in order to maintain the long-term viability of the entire species.  The Ivanpah site could contribute to the destruction of an entire evolutionary significant unit by bulldozing a core portion of the unit's habitat in the northeastern Mojave Desert.    See the previous post on the Basin and Range Watch petition.

The Ivanpah Valley that will soon be scarred by giant mirrors, and expected to directly kill or displace at least 32 desert tortoises.  The BrightSource Energy project in Ivanpah gives renewable energy a bad image.


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