The Sierra Club, Audubon California, Defenders of Wildlife and the Natural Resources Defense Council have voiced their support for 8minuteenergy's Mt. Signal, Calexico I and Calexico II solar projects. The three plants received approval from the Imperial County, Calif., board of supervisors this week.
The conservation groups say they approve of these utility-scale projects – which total 600 MW – because the projects promote well-located clean energy development, demonstrate the care taken to address wildlife concerns and create good union jobs.
The Mt. Signal, Calexico I and Calexico II solar projects are located on privately owned, disturbed land currently used to grow highly water-intensive landscaping grasses. The biological effects from the projects are significantly less than those of proposed renewable energy projects on environmentally sensitive public lands, according to the conservation groups.
‘After close examination, the Sierra Club decided to support these projects due to the developer's willingness to provide support and funding for a program that should provide a higher level of protection for the imperiled burrowing owl, a species potentially affected by the large-scale development of solar,’ notes Bill Corcoran, Western regional campaign director for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign.