CA Solar Farms: A ‘Right Way’ and a ‘Wrong Way’

Approval by Imperial County officials means work can begin on what will be the world’s largest solar farm.

The project will produce enough electricity to power more than 200,000 households and create about 700 construction jobs.

Conservation groups say they support it because it isn’t being built on environmentally sensitive public lands. Kim Delfino, California program director for Defenders of Wildlife, says the project is a great example of the “right way” to develop solar energy.

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Listen to Defenders’ Kim Delfino on California News Service radio.


“There’s a lot of land out there. They don’t need to be going into these more intact, pristine areas. We think that, with good planning and good information, they can choose good, low-impact sites.”

Burrowing owls like this one are threatened by the Calico solar project.

Delfino calls the proposed California-based Calico solar project near Barstow an example of the “wrong way” to develop solar. She says the project fails to meet basic environmental-protection requirements and threatens fragile wildlife.

The Calico project covers more than 4,000 acres of vital wildlife habitat in the Mojave Desert’s Pisgah Valley, she says, and is located on key habitat for the desert tortoise.

“Despite the fact that we have been meeting with the developer of this site for the last three years, urging them to move the project because of the conflicts with wildlife, they’ve chosen to move ahead.”

Defenders of Wildlife, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club are filing a federal lawsuit in an attempt to stop the Calico project.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service – CA

3 Responses to “CA Solar Farms: A ‘Right Way’ and a ‘Wrong Way’”

  1. Lawrence karanja

    Sure they should not disturb the natural habitat,otherwise this desert tortoise will be extinct and future generation will curse us, since they will be seeing this beautiful creatures in pictures.

  2. Inverter Man

    Do these politicians collect their own solar energy? Most likely not.

    This is a huge some of money!

    These millions of dollars should be spent putting solar panels on small businesses within city limits & household rooftops, rather than sprawling industry into our deserts. Collect energy within city limits is a good place to start. Why limit this style of update to military bases & homes?

    The right step is for each business & household to collect their own solar energy from their own property/roof tops rather than development of southwestern desert ecosystems & sacred cultural sites.

    The disruption of Kokopelli in southern California is a most troubling scenario involving solar collection fields… too often decision makers neglect the cultural significance of sacred sites like the Native American geoglyphs in the southwest, which are part of the USA’s heritage & pride.

    Solar panels have been around for decades along with plenty of misled investments. The solution is collect energy within city limits via rooftops
    & outer walls of buildings.

  3. Sharon Dougherty

    Where was Defenders when the Bright Source project was approved for the Ivanpah Valley? The impacts from that project on tortoises and the desert environment have been devestating.

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