The Aratina Solar Project is proposed for a portion of undisturbed Mojave Desert in Kern County near the town of Boron. The land is mostly undisturbed Joshua Tree woodland, and its destruction for this project has numerous serious consequences for the ecology of the area and also would remove carbon-sequestering soil. MBCA's letter outlines the consequences and asks the Kern County Board of Supervisors not to approve the project.
The proposed Oberon Solar Project, to be located on undisturbed BLM land near Desert Center, has drawn a great deal of concern by numerous groups in addition to MCBA. While in a Development Focus Area (DFA) proposed under California's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, the proponents are asking for amendments that contradict the Plan’s underlying rationale. In short, as MBCA’s Pat Flanagan writes in the MBCA letter, “It is not the role of the DRECP to bend to accommodate a project proposal. It is the project proponent’s role to accommodate the DRECP.”Read more
The Special Districts Department of San Bernardino County is applying for a grant to install electric vehicle charging stations at the Joshua Tree Community Center. MBCA has submitted an enthusiastic letter of support for the project to Frank Haggard, Recreation Supervisor of the Special Districts, based in Joshua Tree.
The Net Metering bill AB 1139 that would reduce benefits for home solar failed to pass a June 2 California Assembly vote. MBCA joined many organizations in March to oppose the bill. Several renewable energy industry news groups have provided information and commentary on the bill and the vote, including PV Tech, Solar Power World, and PV Magazine. While it is "off the table" for now, the bill could be reintroduced in January 2022.
- Light Trespass Workshop by Planning Commission
- Stop the Threat to Community Solar in California
- Short Term Rentals
- MBCA Takes a Stand on Glamping Projects
- Virtual Landscape Tour
- New MBCA Website Features
While Assembly Bill 1139 ("Net Energy Metering") contains provisions that support expansion of clean energy, especially to low-income customers, other provisions undercut those benefits. They add costs and reduce solar customer credit for extra energy they can send back to the grid. MBCA joined more than 30 organizations in signing a letter to insist on amendments that will continue to advance clean energy for low-income consumers.
The proposed Solar 66 project located in the Mojave Desert community of Daggett between I-15 and Highway 40 would provide 7 megawatts of solar power on about 134 acres. MBCA's comment letter on the County's Initial Study of this project points to concerns about flooding risks, air pollution, wildlife corridors, invasive species, and aesthetics.Read more
MBCA has joined over 70 organizations signing a letter addressed to Governor Newsom and the California Public Utilities Commission stating concern about changes to net metering. Net metering allows rooftop solar owners connected to the grid to receive bill credit for energy produced beyond their own needs. This does not work to the advantage of investor-owned utilities that are pressing for changes. The letter also encourages more solar battery storage and rooftop solar growth with extra support for low-income communities.
On February 17 the Department of the Interior revoked the eleventh-hour amendment to California's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan by the outgoing administration that would have greatly reduced protected lands. This Desert Sun article provides more history and details, and California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas has released this statement of recognition and appreciation.
This recent LA times article provides a great deal of background on myriad aspects of environmental concern related to energy development in the California desert. It explores federal and state political aspects as well as commentary from environmental non-profit groups, particularly as they relate to the previous administration's last-minute draft revision to California's Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.