Massive solar project in California faces strong opposition – .

Massive solar project in California faces strong opposition – .

Local residents, ranchers and farmers oppose plans for the largest solar power plant in the San Francisco Bay Area, suing the county that approved the project and potentially opening up future projects in California to opposition. .

While most Californians approve of the state’s ambitious clean energy goals, some people living near the proposed large projects are in the “not in my garden (NIMBY)” camp, claiming that solar projects at industrial scale occupy a lot of land and ruin the views.

“It would be a sea of ​​glass,” Chris O’Brien, a renewable energy supporter but opponent of the Aramis project in the North Livermore Valley, told Bloomberg.

O’Brien chairs the Save North Livermore Valley group, which opposes the Aramis solar project, approved by the Alameda County Supervisory Board earlier this year.

North Livermore Valley is one of the few scenic corridors and unspoiled agricultural areas in Alameda County, the group said, adding that “if we do not challenge the county’s approval of the Aramis Project in court, a precedent will be created that industrial solar plants are considered suitable land uses zoned for agricultural and rural residential uses throughout Alameda County. “

The Aramis renewable energy project, developed by Intersect Power, was unanimously approved by Alameda County earlier this year.

Local ranchers and farmers organizations are suing Alameda County over the project, but Intersect Power CEO Sheldon Kimber told Bloomberg the lawsuit would not impact the timing of the project. project. The Aramis project, which will include solar and battery storage to provide clean electricity to 25,000 Bay Area homes and businesses each year, is expected to start operations in 2023.

Opposition to this project could extend to other projects, especially large-scale, and call into question California’s schedule to decarbonize its electricity grid.

Earlier this year, the California Energy Commission (CEC), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) said California should roughly triple the current capacity of its power grid and continue to build ‘expansion of its clean electricity production capacity. at a record pace for the next 25 years if it wants its electricity system to become carbon-free by 2045.

Last month, the CPUC ordered utilities to source 11.5 gigawatts from zero-emission electricity sources in what it described as “a historic move” to ensure reliability and performance targets. clean energy from the state.

By Charles Kennedy for Oil chauffage

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