Not in my backyard: Pro-green energy oppose largest solar plant in Bay Area

2 mins read

The largest solar plant in the San Francisco Bay Area is being planned by a coalition of ranchers, farmers and environmentalists, but those who claim they are in favor of green energy oppose it.

Pro-green energy Chris O’Brien, who even utilizes solar panels in his ranch, is among those who contradict the plans, as reported by Bloomberg. He decided not to support the plans for the Aramis Renewable Energy Project that would span around 350 acres near his Livermore property. He wanted the rural landscape to be preserved.

“We moved out here 25 years ago, and one of the reasons we did is the zoning only allows one house for 100 acres,” O’Brien told Bloomberg. “There is nothing in the zoning or general plan that permits this type of use.”

The project is hoped to supply sufficient carbon-free electricity to 25, 000 homes yearly. Its opponents already filed a suit against Alameda County that approved the solar farm. They said the project would “violate a voter-approved measure designed to protect open space, agriculture and wildlife habitat.”

Giving a go-signal for projects like the solar farm is important for the Biden administration to hit its target of slashing carbon emission in half by 2030. But these projects can hardly get the approval of the people, especially the supposed largest solar farm in the country, as residents see it as an eyesore.

The project from Intersect Power is set to push through despite the lawsuit. It is scheduled to break ground in the middle of next year.

Addressing concerns regarding natural habitat and open space, the company said the solar panels will not disturb the California red-legged frog habitat. It will also not be visible from the road with landscaping, SFGate reported.

“There is handful of neighbors and folks who are primarily concerned, it seems, to preserving their views of open space,” project supporter Bart Broadman, who also owns some of the land to hold the solar farm, shared with Bloomberg. “That strikes me as a bit selfish at time when you see California burning up and climate change driving drought.”