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Reminder: Renewable Energy Meeting Today!

By   /   April 17, 2014  /   Comments Off

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Join your Morongo Basin neighbors, friends and regional partners.

Let’s tell the County what is important to us  

about Renewable Energy and Conservation.


Come to the San Bernardino County “SPARC” Meeting   

Thursday, April 17th 2014, 6-8 PM

Yucca Valley Community Center


SPARC = San Bernardino County Partnership

For Renewable Energy and Conservation

This is your first opportunity to give positive and proactive feedback to San Bernardino County at the beginning of an open process of defining our renewable energy future together.  We encourage you to use this information to prepare your own statement to the County.  

Our Vision: To utilize smart planning and sustainability concepts in a new Renewable Energy Element (REE) for the General Plan for San Bernardino County (SBC) that allows the enthusiastic, willing and able residents to build and benefit from distributed generation and rooftop solar.  

San Bernardino County has a unique opportunity to become the nation’s leader in renewable energy while pioneering an appropriate, responsible and progressive energy policy.  This could result in economic gains throughout the county and an enhanced quality of life for SBC residents and taxpayers.  The county can redefine energy policy and promote incentives to enhance distributed generation and rooftop solar in one of the sunniest counties in the US, providing much needed jobs and local manufacturing, benefit local economies, and preserve public recreation and conservation lands in the CA Desert.  To do this the SBC must hold itself and project proponents to a new standard.   

A County renewable energy plan must:

·         Create and enhance energy conservation and efficiency standards and requirements.  

·         Prioritize, promote and approve point of use or Distributed Generation (DG)  renewable energy  projects.  

o   This maximizes the benefits to energy users and taxpayers by minimizing energy lost over long transmission lines and costly and delayed unintended consequences.  

o   Conversely large scale projects on desert habitat and open space land have significant dust, water, and visual impacts.  They negatively affect sensitive habitat, plants, wildlife, landscape connectivity, and cultural resources.  The negative and lasting impacts of poorly sited utility scale projects cannot be mitigated or restored with current knowledge, technology, or science.  

·         Cluster and coordinate projects to maximize transmission and grid upgrades and retrofits.  

·         Minimize ground and potable water use for renewable energy projects.   

o   Utility scale projects on large parcels of desert vegetated land require heavy water usage after blading during construction and operation to stabilize dust.  

·         Protect scarce and valuable desert resources including but not limited to water resources, cultural and natural resources, open space and view sheds, gateway communities…  

·         Promote and enhance the quality of life in San Bernardino county and rural communities  

·         Create a desert overlay to establish appropriate areas near and inside developed and commercial areas to permit renewable energy projects and alleviate the conflict resulting from the SBC Solar Ordinance’s language permitting industrial projects in rural living and rural conservation zoning.

When utility scale projects are necessary or approved they must:

o   Be sited on previously disturbed land adjacent to or within urban areas that can be repurposed for renewable energy projects

o   Minimize ground water and potable water use

o   Be close to and maximize the use of existing transmission infrastructure

o   Avoid pristine desert land, open space and native habitat

o   Avoid desert rural “gateway” communities and neighborhoods, unless endorsed or proposed by the community (Gateway: a community or city at the entrance to or proceeding our heroic desert landscapes, national parks, monuments, preserves  and wilderness areas.)

We request and advocate that these components and the SBC REE plan be incorporated and folded into any larger jurisdictional or collaborative land use or energy plan (for instance the pending DRECP).

o   SBC elected officials and staff with the support of communities and residents can advocate and achieve a higher standard of renewable energy and land use planning by building vast amounts of distributed generation to replace higher impact energy sources and models.

Yucca Mesa Improvement Association 3133 Balsa Ave. Yucca Valley, CA.92284 760-574-6598

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