Inyo County Solar and Renewable Energy


Nopah Range by Sam Roberts


UPDATE 11/15/15! BLM Proposed Land Use Amendment and Final Environmental Impact Statement released

The FEIS is available and can be downloaded at http://www.drecp.org/finaldrecp/

UPDATED Action Alert!
Federal agencies have released the long anticipated Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The DRECP team is accepting comments on their Draft document through February 23, 2015.  This document is 8,000 pages!  The good news is the Executive Summary is much shorter and covers much of the content.  The DRECP covers areas of Inyo County and the Owens Valley slated for renewable energy development and lands recommended for permanent protection.  Click  here to download the plan and submit your comments. Or, download this sample comment letter for you to sign or adpat to make your own.  Comments can be sent to the California Energy Commission at docket@energy.ca.gov or California Energy Commission, Dockets Office, MS-4, Docket No. 09-RENEW EO-01, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. If you have questions or would like assistance with sending your comments, please contact jora@friendsoftheinyo.org.

Inyo County will host a meeting about the DRECP and its implications locally, including a proposed DFA near Lone Pine, on Thursday, February 5th at Lone Pine High School at 538 South Main Street beginning at 5:30pm. Please attend to learn more about how the DRECP will affect our local communities.

Action Alert! ***UPDATED****

The Inyo County Board of Supervisors is currently drafting its Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA). Under the plan the county will invite up to 250 MW of solar development throughout the Owens Valley and additional projects throughout the county. This industrial scale solar will have lasting impacts on groundwater, plants, wildlife, viewscapes and recreation.  It is important people comment to the Board of Supervisors about siting solar farms on already developed, degraded and working lands, and close to existing energy transmission infrastructure. These projects should not occur on the undeveloped, wild landscapes of the eastern sierra.

The Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) has been released with a 70-day open comment period from, Nov 5th - Jan 14th. Please submit your comments either by email or mail no later than January 14th, 2015 to:

Inyo County Planning Department

PO Drawer L

168 N. Edwards Street

Independence, CA 93526

inyoplanning@inyocounty.us


The PEIR is available for review at the Inyo County Planning Department office at 168 N. Edwards Street, Independence or at the Planning Department. To access it electronically Click Here

 

You may also view copies of the DRAFT PEIR at County public libraries, located at:

 

210 Academy Street, Bishop

 

110 North Main Street, Big Pine

 

168 North Edwards Street, Independence

 

Lone Pine, Located at the corner of Washington and Bush Streets

 

408 Tecopa Hot Springs Road, Tecopa


About the Inyo County Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment:

The Inyo County Planning Department has put together a Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment that identifies sites in Inyo County that have potential for renewable energy development to undergo further review.  Public hearings have demonstrated overwhelming concern by citizens. A good summary can be found here by our friends at Deepest Valley.

About the Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch:

  • 1,200 acre, 200 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) development
  • Six miles southeast of Independence, in between Mazourka Cyn and Manzanar Reward Mine Rds at the base of the Inyo Mtns in the Owens Valley
  • Project Proponent: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
  • Phase: Draft Environmental Impact Report

More Food for Thought:

  • Renewable energy needs to play an important part of America’s future energy portfolio, but it should be developed responsibly. Solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects should be sited on already degraded or developed lands, and as close to energy consumers as possible.
  • Development of renewable energy projects should be done in a thoughtful and programmatic manner, not rushed with minimal public input and education.
  • Previously undisturbed, undeveloped landscapes should not be the primary location for renewable energy or other industrial developments. Suitable sites include working landscapes, previously developed or degraded landscapes, that do not contain natural, cultural, or recreational values
  • The Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch (SOVSR) proposal is in the wrong place.  It would degrade an undisturbed natural landscape, which contains historic and cultural assets that would be unnecessarily compromised by this development.
  • The LADWP’s 2010 Owens Valley Land Management Plan provides direction for resource management actions including river-riparian, grazing, recreation, commercial use, and cultural resource management. It states that, “it is essential that commercial uses not conflict with other resource management actions.” The SOVSR proposal conflicts with other resource management actions like cultural resources and recreation.