Watch CBS News

Opponents Of Livermore Solar Power Project Threaten Lawsuit

LIVERMORE (BCN) -- Opponents of a solar project in the North Livermore Valley are ready to sue if the county approves the project Thursday morning.

Alameda County supervisors will meet at 9 a.m. in the board chambers at 1221 Oak St. to consider the Aramis Renewable Energy Project which will generate up to 100 megawatts of power and store energy in five acres of batteries.

Solar panels will sit on about 350 acres in an agricultural district located partly at 1815 Manning Road and 4400 North Livermore Ave. and on two other parcels nearby.

"If they (supervisors) do approve it, we are prepared to sue," said Chris O'Brien with Save North Livermore Valley.

O'Brien said his group believes approval of the project will violate California zoning laws and the law under voter-approved Measure D, which is meant in part to protect agricultural land and prevent urban sprawl.

In a letter Wednesday to the supervisors, Robert Girard and Richard Schneider, the authors of Measure D, said the project "is inconsistent with the provisions" of the measure.

Measure D amended elements of the county's General Plan and actions opposed to Measure D must be approved by voters, O'Brien said.

He said the land on which the solar project will be built is agricultural land where about 100 head of cattle graze.
Hay is also grown on the land slated for the project.

O'Brien said his group is not opposed to solar energy, but does oppose the process used to move the project toward construction.
For about 10 years, county officials have started and stopped preparing a solar development policy. They most recently started again in 2019 and have not completed it.

"In our view it's just inappropriate planning," O'Brien said of the Aramis project.

He said Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties have developed policies to determine the best place for solar.

In a letter to the director of the Alameda County Community Development Agency, dated for the day of the vote, City of Livermore officials argued for the development and adoption of solar policies in the county.

Intersect Power, which is the company behind the project, said the project will provide 400 living wage, union jobs and will annually generate enough power for 25,000 homes.

Like Save North Livermore Valley, Friends of Livermore and Friends of Open Space and Vineyards are opposed to the project.

Intersect Power did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon. Newly elected Supervisor David Haubert, whose district includes the project area, was unavailable to comment Wednesday afternoon.


© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.