Thursday, July 19, 2007

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Green Wombat had the following post about a proposed high voltage solar power project in Southern California.
In short, the problem is that "SDG&E (SRE) needs to build a $1.3 billion, 150-mile transmission line through a state park and other environmentally sensitive lands to get the renewable energy to its customers. " Green Wombat.

The comments on Green Wombat focus on the viability of the high voltage solar power technology, but what interests me more (of course) is the impact of new power plants of any kind on the existing environmental law structure. Wind farms require vast expanses of land, and threaten birds and other animals. As this case indicates, large scale solar will require 1) the power plants themselves, and 2) the transmission lines to get the power to the grid. There will be an inevitable conflict between the Endangered Species Act, inter alia, that will result from what is essentially the construction of new power plants.

The question I pose is the following: should there be different standards applied to "green" power facilities?

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