Last week Green Wombat wrote about how solar power plant developer eSolar may avoid conflicts over endangered species by building its solar farms on privately owned agricultural land rather than in desert areas home to a variety of protected wildlife.
At the opening ceremony of eSolar’s Sierra demonstration power plant outside Los Angeles on Aug. 5, Wildlands Conservancy executive director David Myers gave a speech praising the Pasadena company for not building power plants in fragile desert ecosystems while criticizing competitors. The Wildlands Consevancy, a Southern California non-profit, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying up and preserving broad swaths of the Mojave Desert.
What my story did not point out was a connection between the Wildlands Conservancy and eSolar. The Wildlands Conservancy’s biggest backer has been Southern California investor and environmentalist David Gelbaum, who also serves on the green group’s board. Gelbaum’s Quercus Trust is an investor in eSolar and dozens of other green tech startups.