Groups sue to stop SunPower plant in California Valley

June 2, 2011

Two conservation groups and a San Luis Obispo County resident have sued to stop construction of a SunPower Corp solar power plant, saying the project would harm the rural area’s wildlife, air quality and natural beauty. [Reuters]

On May 20, Carrizo Commons, North County Watch and local farmer and auto repair shop owner Michael Strobridge filed the lawsuit in a California state court.

The plaintiffs contend county officials did not adequately analyze the 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch’s impact on the area’s aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, noise, traffic, greenhouse gas emissions and agricultural resources before approving the project in February.

The plaintiffs want the county to resend its approval of the California Valley Solar Ranch.

Another, larger, solar project is also planned for the same area. First Solar Inc’s (FSLR.O) 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm won approval from the county’s planning commission last month. Three appeals to that approval have already been filed by Strobridge, landowner Jody Stegman, and a group of conservation groups including North County Watch, Carrizo Commons, the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife, Reuters said.

On July 12, the Board of Supervisors will consider those appeals.

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These environmental wacos are anti anything/everything, yet they would be the first ones to call PG&E when their lights went out. In some European countries they’ve embraced solar power. Farmers can make more money with solar panels than growing crops. You don’t want nuclear power, you don’t want wind power (kills a birdie now and then), you don’t want solar power (takes up too much room, look ugly), and the list goes on. Rather than constantly getting in the way of progress, please tell us where we should go next for sustainable energy. How about helping solve the problem rather than being the problem!

If anyone is making more with solar panels than with food, you can bet there is a social-engineering stipend attached to skew the profit of the solar panels up, or the cost of the food crops down. In the end, food is more valuable than energy, but it is close.

Okay, if we can’t have a solar plant because it takes up too much land, can we please have a pair of AP-1000’s down on the Nipomo Mesa? No pollution, very little land requirements. It’s clearly the environmentally friendly choice for SLO.

It’ll never happen – at least not with the amount of ties GE has with this administration (and Westinghouse is a competitor)…

Michael Strobridge

you are an embarrassment. Go find something productive to do with your time.

Obvious and apparent he’s blowing smoke (for reasons unknow), its a bunch of bull.

What I do know is it makes more sense to increase our solar from 2% to 15% for many reasons and to keep pace with the rest of the sane world.

If I were to peel the onion, the dispute may be a latent struggle for the benefits (cut of the pie) as always.

You think he might have invested all his eggs in the First Solar basket instead? Sadly, it’s almost always about money – maybe not as much for the useful idiots doing the grunt-work on the streets, but follow these organizations on up, and it always turns out to be for money. Usually in the form of a competitor, or one who will profit from a project’s failure.

There is “in fact competition” in this field, maybe small business are not getting a piece of the pie dominated by big corporation (this is a recovery problem- a matter of survival).

The group filing this, is the same type complaining we need green energy. Then you do something and now this!!??? It is the ol damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I say that a for a judge to listen to this NONSENSE insist that the plaintiff come up with an alternate idea they would accept. If not, throw it out of court.

There will always be people that complain about things, you can’t please all the people all the time. Build the bloody thing and lets get on with it.

First of all: The plaintiffs want the county to resend its approval of the California Valley Solar Ranch. …should have rescind and not resend – unless they need to re-transmit?

Also, I firmly believe there are those among us who will not be happy until we’re all wallowing in self-imposed guilt in our self-imposed third-world hovels. In the dark and cold. Hungry. Unwashed.

Seriously, it’s like the late Ted Kennedy opposing the windfarm near Cape Cod.

So… no nuclear… no fossil fuels… no wind and now no solar? The irony is, we’ll be discussing this on an electronically-issued newspaper, via our computers or other connected devices.

I sum it up for my friends this way: I hate the dangers of nuclear power, but less than I hate being without power.

I could swear that most of the same people that were pushing for alternative energy in SLO County a few years ago are the same ones fighting both projects now.

The EIR’s and the addendums to the EIR’s for both projects are unprecedented in scope and depth of review.

And yet, that’s what each appeal and now the first of both lawsuits are based on…… the claim that the EIR was not thorough enough. That this argument could even be concocted should tell all of us how subjective and specious the EIR process is under CEQA. has become

The plaintifs actually missed the mark though, they should have adopted the same tactic the anti Oster Quarry folks used. A principle from the EIR firm actually spoke before an environmental conference touting sloar energy in remote open areas with plenty of sun. Surely that presents a conflict of interest? Shouldn’t the county suddenly put the EIR back out for bids?

No because the supes want one project but not the other. Modern governance!

You’ll know what the sun’s all about when the lights go out.