On the front page of the Los Angeles Times Monday, a story revealed that Southern California Edison has blocked the use of solar power at facilities in Death Valley and Mono Lake.
Edison officials declined to comment on the story that says the national park service and national forests have been negotiating with Edison for at least two years with no agreement to accept solar power into the grid.
The Times reported that a new $800,000 solar project at Death Valley National Park and a solar power system at the U.S. Forest Service’s new facility at Mono Lake are among dozens of “taxpayer-funded projects across California on hold as federal agencies try to hash out an agreement with SCE to tie the projects to the state’s electrical grid.”
Park Service spokesmen said the successfully negotiated deals with PG&E but Edison, they say, has been “a bit more difficult.” The Times also reported that this impasse has blocked the parks and forest service ability to meet renewable energy goals and to lower power costs.
According to the Times, parks officials at Death Valley hoped to save 70% on power bills at their newly renovated visitors center. The park’s concessionaire has managed to install a photovoltaic plant which the Times says will generate one-third of the power needed to run the park’s hotels, restaurants, golf course, offices and employee housing.
Officials at Manzanar had problems early on with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on a contract issue. SCE is apparently concerned about future liability language. Meanwhile, the solar panels just sit there