Owens Valley Solar Projects

Solar Projects Next To Manzanar Withdrawn

April 23, 2015 - Independence CA - The Northland Power project, located next to Manzanar National Historic Site in the Owens Valley, was withdrawn from its 20th position on the list on April 1. Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch was ninth on the Priority Queue List and also lost its place and was withdrawn on March 12. The time limit on the interconnection request for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s solar ranch expired, and as a result the project lost its spot in line to hook up to LADWP’s Inyo-Rinaldi Transmission Line. But "withdrawn" from the queue to interconnect may not mean the projects are dead. LADWP stated it will continue to examine the viability of this renewable project and many others, especially in light of the new state goals of 50 percent renewables by 2030.

See Sierra Wave.

Visit to the Northland Solar Project Proposal

^View from a small hill in southern Owens Valley, showing the proposed location of the Northland solar project. The area would be graded across this valley up to the base of the Inyo Mountains.

November 22, 2013 - Two large solar projects threaten Owens Valley scenery, historic sites, and habitats: the 1,400 acre Owens Valley Solar Ranch proposed to be built next to Manzanar National Historic Site by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; and now the Northland Power Independence LLC, a 1,200 acre photovoltaic project right next to Mazourka Canyon in the Inyo Mountains. The second project is on high quality unique alkaline desert habitat with rare plants and two potentially new species of plants.

Members of Basin & Range Watch visited the project site area to take a look on the ground. The area is a lonely, beautiful, wild part of Owens Valley, with stunning view of the Sierras and Inyo Mountains. There is no large-scale development within view. A solar power plant would change the rural character of this place for decades, more reason we believe such photovoltaic panels should go instead on rooftops and urban structures like parking lot shades.

Stay tuned for our visit to the Owens Valley Solar Ranch proposed site next.

See the county website for more on the Northland solar project: http://inyoplanning.org/projects/Northland.htm

^View from the river floodplain looking eastward to the Inyo Mountains. The solar project would lie at the base of the mountains.


^View of the project site of saltbush scrub and creosote scrub with the Inyo Mountains in the distance.

^View of southern Owens Valley from a small hill. The Northland solar project would cover much of the foreground flat, while the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power solar project would be visible to the south.

^Creosote flat on the proposed project site next to the Inyos. This area would be bulldozed and graded.

^View looking northwards up the Owens Valley from near the solar project site proposal, showing the very rural nature of the area. The Sierra Nevada lies on the left.

^Historic mine structure of wood, adjacent to the project proposal.

^Willows and cattail marshes in the Owens River floodplain and ditches west of the project site.

^Mouth of Mazourka Canyon next to the solar project proposal.

^Desert hills in Mazourka Canyon.

^Inyo Mountain view in Mazourka Canyon.

^Mazourka Canyon shadows in late afternoon.

^Shadows in Mazourka Canyon at sunset.

^Dramatic light effect at sunset across the High Sierra crest, seen from the mouth of Mazourka Canyon near the proposed project site.

^Mojave aster in bloom in Mazourka Canyon, after a heavy August rain.

^Biological soil crust of lichens, mosses and fungi on the proposed solar site. Also a light green leafy seedling of a bursage bush (Ambrosia dumosa).

^Blooming brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) in Mazourka Canyon.

^Trumpet buckwheat (Eriogonum inflatum) was flowering all over the canyon, an unusual November wildflower show from good summer rains.

^Desert pincushion (Chaenactis sp.).

^A delicate white-flowered mustard grew in Mazourka Canyon.

^Apricot mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and buckwheat flowers.

^Purple-flowering Phacelia (Phacelia sp.) and a small annual buckwheat (Eriogonum sp.).

^Red-colored slope in Mazourka Canyon.

^Moonrise over the Inyo Mountains.

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