Image: NextEra Energy
In Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, I write about how a seemingly intractable dispute about the environmental impact of a big solar power plant in California is being resolved with some innovative compromises:
A developer who proposes to cut down hundreds of trees to make way for a massive project could expect to provoke a fair amount of environmental outrage.
Not in California City. Officials in this sprawling desert community east of Bakersfield are thrilled at NextEra Energy’s move to break out the chain saws.
The firm, a subsidiary of utility giant FPL Group, is seeking to build a solar power plant in the area that would consume a large amount of water. The trees are tamarisks, a water-hungry invasive species, and removing them could help recharge the aquifer in this arid region.
“The water that normally would go into the tamarisk will go down into the basin — it’s a big environmental win,” said Michael Bevins, California City’s public works director.
The tree deal is just one way that what threatened to become another intractable fight over the environmental effect of desert solar power plants is turning into a blueprint for the resolution of similar disputes.
You can read the rest of the story here.