Monday, July 1, 2013

Regional solar project closer to construction

Silicon Valley Mercury News/Paul Rogers, 6/28/13.  "Solar project south of Silicon Valley wins a major victory in appeals court."

The Panoche Valley in San Benito County. (Craig Miller/KQED)
San Benito Panoche Valley solar farm land   
"A proposal to build one of the world's largest solar farms south of Silicon Valley took a major step forward this week when a state appeals court rejected a lawsuit by environmental groups who have tried to stop it on the grounds it could harm endangered species. 

....  But the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, the Sierra Club and a local group called Save Panoche Valley sued to block it, arguing that the 4 million solar panels that would be constructed across the roughly 3,000 acres west of Interstate 5 would harm disrupt the rural character of the area, and harm endangered species such as the San Joaquin kit fox, blunt-nosed leopard lizard and giant kangaroo rat." 

....  This is a setback, but it is not the end of the road," said Kleinhaus of the Audubon Society. She noted that her Audubon chapter, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups have written letters to utility companies urging them not to sign deals to buy the solar power because of the project's effects on endangered species. 

....  Several of the projects have failed because of delays, lawsuits, cost overruns and problems getting permits. Others are moving ahead."   Read article.

Reference 6th District Court of Appeal. "The Sixth District is located in San Jose and has jurisdiction over the following counties: Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz." 

Related article - KQED, 6/29/13.  "A state court of appeals rejected the suit, which claimed PV2 hadn’t pursued alternatives like putting the project somewhere else.Tammie McGhee of Duke Energy, said their plan includes habitat preservation. "The project is a 28,000 acre footprint. Only 3,000 of those acres will actually have solar panels on them,” she said. “The other 23,000 acres will be for conservation and habitat preservation."   Note:  The San Benito Panoche Valley property photograph is from this article.   

Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This should have been done 20 years ago.