The Inyo Supervisors agenda lists an item 20 which asks for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to “provide the Inyo County Board of Supervisors with a presentation on the status of LADWP’s Solar Ranch Project.” Board Chairman Rick Pucci said he wanted to make sure DWP “got an invitation.”
Pucci also said he wanted this item to be separate from the planning issue of industrial solar areas scheduled for March 18th. Pucci said when the County dealt with the company called Bright Source on a major solar project in Death Valley, members of that company made it a point to come before the Inyo Board and public to talk about their project and hear opinions on it.
Pucci said DWP has never asked for a presentation, and he’s not sure they will come. If they do, it would come after what is expected to be a highly controversial meeting on the 18th. The Supervisors will consider the Planning Department’s General Plan Amendment to designate 50 square miles of Inyo land as potential large-scale renewable energy development.
DWP’s solar project is related but a separate issue. Chairman Pucci said he wants to make DWP available to the public on that project and give both DWP and citizens a chance to interact on the project.
Another item on the agenda at 1:30pm follows up on an earlier contentious meeting with Los Angeles officials – the Standing Committee meeting. DWP had refused to go along with their earlier promise to give the Lone Pine school farm 30 acre feet of water. Instead, DWP wanted to add ten acres to the Van Norman mitigation project and move the farm there. Lone Pine people strongly objected since fencing and water distribution lines were already set up.
Now, the Water Department has come back with a plan spelled out for the Supervisors who sit on the Standing Committee to approve or not. It says that ten acres of the high school farm would be added to the Van Norman Enhancement Mitigation Project and the whole project would be irrigated with a total annual water supply of 480 acre feet per year.
That’s more water than the lessee has gotten so far even though it’s less than the County, high school and lessee had hoped. Earlier, DWP said if they gave more water to the Van Norman field or high school, they wanted to take water away from the Independence tree lot.