June 17, 2015: same story is being reported over at Fox News. Clearly a NIMBY issue:
One might expect environmentalists to fight a new power plant, but a new battle being waged by California green groups against a solar facility shows there may be something new under the sun, after all.
A solar-powered plant proposed by industrial giant Bechtel on federal Bureau of Land Management property in the Mojave Desert could supply up to 170,000 homes in Los Angeles with electricity from the sun, but it also would make life difficult for about 100 Bighorn Sheep and other critters, according to the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council. Their concerns have convinced the city not to buy electricity from the 350-megawatt Soda Mountain project.
Original PostThe Los Angeles Times reports:
The city of Los Angeles has dropped plans to buy electricity from a controversial solar plant proposed for the Mojave Desert, delivering a serious blow to the most environmentally sensitive renewable energy project in the state.
City officials said Thursday that the Soda Mountain Solar Project would be too damaging to bighorn sheep, desert tortoises and other wildlife near the site along Interstate 15, just south of Baker and less than a mile from the Mojave National Preserve.
The decision was made after a Department of Water and Power review found that other proposed renewable energy projects would charge the city less for electricity and would have fewer challenges in delivering the power to Los Angeles.
Bechtel Corp., developer of the plant, had hoped that Los Angeles would buy most of the power. Ron Tobler, project development manager for Bechtel, said the company is negotiating with other prospective customers for the electricity.
Analysts said those prospects are remote — and time is of the essence.
If the project does not get a power purchase agreement signed soon, "it will be extremely difficult for it to proceed with development," said Cory Honeyman, a senior solar analyst at the consulting firm GTM Research. That's largely because the window is closing on eligibility for a 30% federal tax credit for the project.
The city's decision came as a welcome surprise to environmentalists.NIMBY?
"The Sierra Club is delighted to see the city do the right thing and choose not to sign a power purchase agreement with this harmful project," said Sarah Friedman, a senior campaign representative with the organization. "We support clean energy, but this is the wrong place to do it."
I've actually driven by the site; it's huge. I thought this was a done deal.