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New solar project planned in L.V.

February 7, 2012

Silverado Power applies to build 20-megawatt facility


San Francisco-based renewable energy firm Silverado Power has applied for the right to build a 20-megawatt photovoltaic solar energy plant in western Lucerne Valley.

Silverado Power has acquired 358 acres of private land under the name Lucerne Valley Desert View Ranch, LLC, and plans to use 198 of those acres for photovoltaic solar panels.

The proposed project would sit on the far west side of town, just inside the borders of County Service Area 29. Most of the panels would be south of Desert View Road, east of Corto Road and west of Lovelace Canyon Road.

Silverado Power has requested an exemption from a paving requirement, potentially allowing them to build the project without paving access roads.

Notices were recently sent to nearby residents by the San Bernardino County Land Use Services department. One local resident forwarded his notice to media outlets and expressed his displeasure with the paving exemption, stating that construction of the facility will kick up too much sand and dust in the area.

The Leader placed a call and sent an e-mail to Silverado Power on Thursday, Feb. 2, but the messages had not been returned as of press time on Monday, Feb. 6.

Chris Warrick, the project planner assigned by the county, was reached by phone and provided some details. He said the county is still in the environmental review stage, and a final decision is at least six months away. He said all of the possible effects of the project are being considered, including sand and dust generated by construction, effects on views and wildlife impact.

The project would use tracking solar panels which would reach no higher than 10 feet when fully extended, Warrick said.

Warrick said there would be public hearing before the project goes forward, but hearing dates have not been set. A soft deadline for written public comments is Feb. 8 (today), but public comments will be accepted up until the time of the project decision. Comments can be sent to San Bernardino County Land Use Services, 385 North Arrowhead Avenue, First Floor, San Bernardino CA 92415.

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