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Today the Sierra Club welcomes the Antelope Valley Solar Projects in California, one of the largest planned solar projects in the U.S., as developer SunPower and owner MidAmerican Solar marked the start of major construction. The Sierra Club endorsed the project early on because it was planned and sited in a way that protected local plants and wildlife.

The project location was chosen in strict accordance with conservation values, seeking to avoid harming wildlife or building new infrastructure. The projects are located on previously disturbed private land that did not have any threatened and endangered species. Although the project site is in the desert, it was being used to grow alfalfa and other crops that require significant irrigation, and changing the use to photovoltaic solar will significantly reduce water use.

Additionally, because the projects are located near existing transmission lines, including a major substation, it was not necessary to build new high-voltage power lines through undisturbed land.  

The solar farm will go online in 2015 and provide 579 megawatts of real clean energy, enough to power approximately 400,000 homes. The projects will help California meet its renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions goals, as well as displacing demand for dirty fossil fuels like coal or natural gas. These solar panels will also offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon per year, the emissions equivalent of three million cars over the next 20 years.

I'm proud of the Sierra Club volunteers who worked with the developer from early on to improve the project, and ultimately endorsed it for its attention to conservation as well as its generation of clean energy, providing valuable support during key points in the permitting process.

Responsibly sited energy projects, along with rooftop solar and energy efficiency, are the key to fighting dirty fuels and combating climate disruption. These new technologies are gaining momentum and helping us move away from fossil fuels. The Sierra Club supports large scale renewable energy projects developed in line with conservation values.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tyvm/MAH (4+ / 0-)

    Monsanto is poison,gotta be stopped. Can't afford rich people anymore;must cut back. People like Dick Cheney are evil, don't belong in government. We need @ 9 different revolutions in this country, and may they all crossoverlap soon..

    by renzo capetti on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 05:48:42 PM PDT

  •  Great Diary Mary Anne (5+ / 0-)

    Short, Informative, And Great News!

    Rec'd, Tipped And Liked to my FB page.

    This is a diary that should not be overlooked.

    These solar panels will also offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon per year, the emissions equivalent of three million cars over the next 20 years.
    So this is like on what, a couple of acres of land? There's a whole lot of desert and sun in the US.

    Florida is solar paradise too.

    Solar is just smart. Reasonable; one time mostly cost (except maintenance) creating, sustaining, etc. It's safe and affordable to everyone.

    Solar self renewable energy, Got sunshine, got energy.

    The White Mountains of New England are perfect for wind farms.

    Up there the wind comes from Canada and is very strong and could create a lot of power.

    I don't know if they're already made this way; but, I would design the turbines so that they can be turned and adjusted at any time, in order to actually harness the wind as needed rather than just catch it.

    Wind power has a lot of potential in any mountainous and flat (if windy) regions here in the US.

    We have to change our ways of obtaining energy. Fossil fuels, gas, nuclear energy are over if we want to have a planet. We need to eliminate, the awful alternative

    NO tar sands! Mountaintop Removal, Strip And Longwall Mining, Gas Fracking, An American Tragedy And Global Climate Crime!

    Meanwhile; the idiots are destroying America, fracking away to obtain natural (that's an oxymoron if I ever heard one) gas. Extremely toxic, non renewable, explosive, and prehistoric.

    No Tar Sands!

    ps This would be a good diary to post at about 2pm on a Sun afternoon. Since it's so short it would probably get a lot of views.

    On Fri night imo, people are either tired or looking for fun diaries. I took a nap this afternoon.

    This is such a good thing. We need much more solar and wind energy!

    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

    by rebel ga on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:04:58 PM PDT

    •  A couple of acres? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebel ga

      No, not really - 3230.

      If you want to cover the desert with things, you run into a whole different group of "environmentalists" who want to block your efforts

      •  That must be a huge solar farm if it's on (0+ / 0-)

        3,230 acres.

        I don't see any environmental impact even if there were more solar farms constructed on America's deserts.

        They're deserts. Except for some nearby towns etc and animals, people tend not to go there.

        It's better than more nuclear power plants.

        Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

        by rebel ga on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 09:38:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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