Solar Power and Habitat Protection Can Indeed Coexist

Solar parabolic

Solar parabolic troughs near Barstow in southern California

Some “green economy” skeptics are scratching their heads over the recent desert protection legislation introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-California). The measure would place off limits for solar development more than a million acres of public land.

But the measure also fast-tracks CSP proposals on private lands.

Wind farms are also at risk. And according to CEERT executive director V. John White, excluding one million acres of prime solar and wind resource sites limits the state’s ability to maximize California’s robust renewable resource base — as well as economic development opportunities.

While the Feinstein bill attracted the most media attention, state regualtors gave final approval to the construction of new transmission lines that can tap California’s world-class wind resource area in the Tehachapi mountains.

Mitigation for renewable energy facilities is not cheap. Consider that the cost of mitigating impacts on tortoise populations in San Bernardino can reach $1 million — per tortoise!

  • Regulators released a 60-page executive summary of the DRECP at an event headlined by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Sen. Barbara Boxer. read here.



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