The Mojave Communities Conservation Collaboritive (Mc3) is still working to stop Southern California Edison’s Coolwater Lugo Transmission project (CLTP), along with the huge local windmill projects and solar farms that it would facilitate.
Lorrie Steely, founder of Mc3, is asking the community to participate in an urgent campaign. To help put a stop to these huge transmission projects planned for our area of the Mojave Desert, she urges concerned citizens to write a personal letter regarding the pending application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a Certificate of Public Convenience Necessity (CPCN) for Southern California Edison’s (SCE) Coolwater Lugo Transmission Project.
NRG Energy recently announced it is retiring a 636MW capacity coolwater generating facility from the SCE transmission grid. The CPUC is now requiring SCE clarify the need for CLTP. Their response is due by January 8th, 2014.
“This is the perfect opportunity for our Desert Communities to join our voices together to let the CPUC, the BLM, our County Board of Supervisors, Congressmen, and Governor know that we do not want the SCE Coolwater Lugo Project coming to our Desert,” said Steely.
The project is a 165-acre substation that once built would be used to attract industrial scale renewable energy projects in the rural communities. The CLTP would have a negative impact on the desert economically, socially and environmentally that would be felt now and for generations to come.
In addition, people need to be aware that the cost of the CLTP project will be borne solely by SCE ratepayers, at an estimated cost of a billion dollars. Steely suggests that SCE has failed to embrace the wave of the future, and refuses to change their 1940’s approach to transmission. “They need to abandon their old business plan that supports an antiquated system, and acknowledge that the most efficient, cost effective and least environmentally invasive solution is rooftop solar built right where the energy will be used,” she says. Rooftop solar on homes and businesses is becoming a popular subject, even among the big solar companies.
Even David Crane, President and Chief Executive Officer of NRG, one of the nation’s largest competitive power generator, and a major competitive energy retailer that serves nearly 3 million customers said in an April 2013 interview: “The whole approach of covering vast swaths of desert in solar panels and piping the energy hundreds of miles through high‐voltage transmission lines “was stupid in 2008 and it’s stupid today.” Rather, the key advantage of solar is that it can cover houses and buildings and car parks and other urban structures, enabling them to generate their own power.
What kind of a legacy can we hope to leave our children and grandchildren with a desert full of solar farms and wind turbines?
Citing the recently-completed solar projects in Lucerne Valley, Steely asserts that they used over 18 million gallons of water for dust control during construction.
Steely asks Desert News Post readers to “help stop the lunacy” by writing to your government officials with your opinion. She suggests including the following points in your own words:
• Clearly state that you oppose SCE Coolwater Lugo Transmission and Desert View Substation projects to be built in your rural desert community.
• The goals of industrial scale renewable energy will negatively impact our community economically, socially and environmentally and will be felt now and for generations to come.
• Announcement by NRG on retirement of coolwater generating facility
• Project cost is concern expressed by the Office of Ratepayers Advocates in their official protest of this project.
• These types of renewable energy projects are speculative at best. Pitiful results documented: Don’t producethe energy promised; problems like underestimated fossil fuel usage, flooding and blade-throws. (ie. Ivanpah solar plant; Ocotillo
Wind Energy farm).
• Environmental impacts: Political corruption in industry means environmental concerns are being ignored. (Inspector General of Dept. of Interior report released in Nov. 2014 confirms senior Obama admin. official with energy ties pressuredsubordinates to ignore environmental concerns in favor of rubber-stamp approvals).
• SCE has not practiced “due diligence” in their public outreach, (ie. signs announcing public hearings posted in middle of desert where no one would see them.)
• The “need” for this project has been fabricated by SCE, a big utility seeking big profits for investors, not logical clean energy solutions.
Please read these recently published articles to gain more insight into why this fight is important:
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