APPLE VALLEY – An as-yet unnamed group took form Thursday night as residents met to discuss renewable energy projects slated for development in their rural neighborhoods.
A proposed electrical substation and a related wind-energy farm motivated the community meeting held in the cramped offices of Juniper Riviera County Water District. More than 80 people attended, organizer Lorrie Steely said.
The Desert View Substation for Southern California Edison’s Coolwater-Lugo Transmission Project – slated for the south end of Milpas Road – and the proposed 42-windmill North Peak Wind Energy Project by E.ON Climate & Renewables that would populate 10,500 acres between the substation and High Road in Lucerne Valley triggered the interest.
Residents of the Milpas Highlands and surrounding areas scheduled the meeting to monitor and protest the substation’s location and renewable energy projects destined for the region’s rural communities, organizers said.
“We know we need sustainable energy, just not in the rural residential neighborhoods (of the Victor Valley),” Steely said. “We want to reach anybody and everybody who has an interest in our desert.”
Lancaster’s deputy city manager, Jason Caudle, said his city has filed a protest to the Coolwater-Lugo project and previously offered an alternative.
That city and its engineering partner’s proposed project would cost less, be done in the same time frame, have less impacts and create jobs through the Antelope Valley, he said, but the California Public Utilities Commission did not accept the proposal.
The SCE website says the Coolwater-Lugo Transmission Project is designed to expand transmission capacity in the Kramer Junction and Lucerne Valley areas and the project will help deliver cleaner, renewable power while supporting system reliability and meeting the region’s increased demand for electricity.
Regarding the Desert View Substation’s specific site, SCE spokeswoman Julie Gilbert said it is a unique location close to existing infrastructure and electrical grid demand. The selected site helps reduce environmental and engineering impacts and project costs, she said.
Four public hearings on the transmission project were held in June 2013 in Apple Valley, Hesperia, Lucerne Valley and Daggett, according to previous reports.
Comments for or against the amended application for the Desert View Substation are due to the PUC by May 27.
The unnamed community-interest group’s steering committee was scheduled to meet Friday night to choose a name and conduct other discussions. Its next public meeting is scheduled at 11 a.m. May 17 at Horsemen’s Center Park in Apple Valley, Steely said.
The group can be followed by searching for 2-save-our-skyline on Facebook.
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