Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System, artists' rendition. Graphic: California Energy Commission

By Chris Clarke
29 May 2015

(KCET) – Stick a fork in the Hidden Hills Solar Electric Generating System. The 500-megawatt solar power tower project proposed for the Charleston View area in Inyo County, then put on the back burner in 2013, will be canceled by its owner, Oakland-based BrightSource Energy.

The news came in an email exchange published Friday on the website of the California Energy Commission.

The mothballed Hidden Hills proposal had come under fire in recent weeks, as parties ranging from environmental groups to Inyo County have asked the Energy Commission to kill the project once and for all. […]

The project's assessment process before the Commission had been "suspended" since April 2013, when BrightSource terminated power purchase agreements with the Northern California utility Pacific Gas and Electric. That move came after Commission staff warned the project would do significant damage to the area's environment and cultural resources, as well as visual resources.

In the two years since, BrightSource's smaller plant in the Ivanpah Valley has attracted worldwide notice for the toll it has taken on nearby wildlife, including bird mortalities from both collisions with mirrors and the facility's concentrated solar flux. [more]

Company To Withdraw Proposed Solar Tower Project in Inyo County


  1. mike roddy said...

    Jim, this guy Chris Clarke is bad news, and was one of the guys leading the charge to stop solar farms in the Mojave on bogus environmental grounds. He uses bad data and misleading environmental impact claims. Result: solar is now 2% of the grid, including distributed. Clarke and the gas and coal boys won that battle. You know the consequences of that as well as I do. I believe, but cannot prove, that Clarke works for them, just as the lawyers did who filed the lawsuits. They were thrown out of court, but it was too late- investors fled.

    Google my piece on the subject, Solar Sabotage in the Mojave Desert, which ended up getting published in Pauchuri's magazine.

    Also, Jim, we're having a party in the Sierras in August. Top scientists and activists will be present. Email me if you're interested, mike.greenframe@gmail.com  


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