- BrightSource Energy, Hidden Hills solar plant, 230 miles northeast of LA
- $2.7 billion project
- property tax revenue a fraction of the customary amount: plant qualifies for solar tax exclusion
- fewer than 10 local workers would land permanent positions
- just 5% of the construction jobs would be filled by county workers
- construction workers will spend their money in Nevada, just across the state line from the plant
Worse, the project would cost the county $11 million to $12 million during the 30-month construction phase, with much of the money going to upgrade a historic two-lane road to the plant. Once the plant begins operation, the county estimates taxpayers will foot the bill for nearly $2 million a year in additional public safety and other services.This story is taking place in Inyo County, California, but two other California counties are discovering the same thing: Riverside and San Bernardino, just east of LA (in fact, an outsider hardly knows when one crosses from LA County to counties north, east, and south).
And it gets worse: solar developers have to buy land to offset the loss of habitat caused by the solar projects, and that land cannot be developed, i.e., little to no potential tax revenue.
More from the story:
Two of the largest solar plants in the world are under construction in San Bernardino County. But county officials are not sure if revenue from the projects will offset the cost of additional fire and safety services, which analysts say will amount to millions of dollars a year.
For example, the $2.2-billion Ivanpah solar project at the county's eastern border has agreed to pay $377,000 annually, but that may not be enough to cover the county's new costs related to the plant. The county doesn't know how much solar plants will drain from its budget because the projects are being planned and approved too quickly for adequate analysis, officials say.For Inyo County, population less than 20,000. $2 million/year for services: $400/family of four/year in additional county taxes; for the $12 million highway upgrade, $2,400/family of four/probably spread out over several years.
Now, about that bullet train to nowhere.
By the way, an outstanding niche for solar is in the oil patch, an incredible story that was posted quite some time ago. Go to the website to see where solar makes sense:
Medora Corporation is the #1 world leader for in-situ water body treatment. We have thousands of installations throughout the U.S. and 15+ countries, and are solving serious water quality problems in many types of water reservoirs.
From an earlier post:We design and produce both SolarBee© solar-powered and GridBee™ a.c. electrical equipment. All of our equipment is designed for extreme reliability with a 25-year minimum design life.
February 10, 2012: North Dakota solar start-up, 70 employees, headquartered in Dickinson, ND, will be honored at a presidential event.
SolarBee Inc. of Dickinson will be recognized at the White House for starting a successful business in a rural region.
SolarBee makes solar-powered machines to improve water quality. They employ about 70 people. Their machines are used in lakes, water towers and waste water facilities across the U.S. and in several foreign countries.
The Medora Corporation is headquartered in Dickinson, with international headquarters in Fargo.