Alameda Creek Alliance

 

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Industrial Solar Development

Steering Alameda County away from industrial solar development in wildlife habitat and productive farmland in rural areas, toward a sensible urban solar policy

Alameda County seems to be on a misguided path to allow construction of massive scale industrial solar energy facilities in rural eastern Alameda County, within habitat for numerous endangered species, important breeding and foraging areas for birds of prey and prime agricultural lands. The need for a county rural solar policy is prompted by county approval and promotion of industrial solar plants near Mountain House in eastern Alameda County with minimal environmental review or consideration of impacts on wildlife habitat and agricultural lands.

The Alameda Creek Alliance has concerns about the impacts of massive industrial energy facilities on habitat for sensitive wildlife species in eastern Alameda County, and the cumulative effects of large-scale solar development combined with ongoing severe impacts to raptors from wind turbines at Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. We are advocating for a proper level of environmental review for proposed large-scale solar facilities and minimizing environmental damage these facilities will cause. We are also concerned that approved and proposed projects conflict with the East County Area Plan and Measure D.

The Alameda Creek Alliance is working with the coalition SOLAR (Saving Our Lands Agriculture and Raptors) to ensure Alameda County first looks at the potential for urban solar on rooftops or placing panels on existing paved and developed locations. The county’s focus should be on “distributed generation” such as rooftop solar, which is a faster, cheaper, cleaner and more effective way of meeting our energy needs, rather than poorly-sited facilities that cause habitat destruction.

Take Action: Tell Alameda County to promote solar developments in urban areas on rooftops, parking lots and other developed lands instead of allowing or encouraging industrial energy facilities on rural land or wildlife habitat.