Solar pilot, without impact report, proposed for Owens Valley

Posted on | December 2, 2009 | 2 Comments

Mined salt flat on Owens Lake bed left after Los Angeles diverted the water. Photo: Emily Green Photo: Emily GreenNearly a century after Los Angeles drained Owens Lake by diverting its water to the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the city now hopes to generate solar energy on the dusty salt flats it left behind, reports Phil Wilson in the Los Angeles Times.

The Department of Water and Power’s board of commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved a renewable energy pilot project that would cover 616 acres of lake bed with solar arrays — a possible precursor to a mammoth solar farm that could cover thousands of acres.

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2 Responses to “Solar pilot, without impact report, proposed for Owens Valley”

  1. David Zetland
    December 3rd, 2009 @ 10:05 am

    I guess they will have to reduce LAA exports, to use that water to wash off the dust. Not a bad idea, but this story only gets more bizarre. Wonder what transmission losses will be. (Oh, wait, they already have wires there. Aha!)

  2. EmilyGreen
    December 3rd, 2009 @ 2:45 pm

    I’m curious about the dust, too. I don’t understand how they can keep the panels clean. A knowledgeable source commented to me, “it makes about as much sense as putting an operating room in a feedlot.” We shall see.

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