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SunPeak Superstition Solar, Imperial County, CA

STATUS: In progress

TYPE: Solar

OPPOSITION:  Quechan Indian Tribe
PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND: On July 17, 2007, SunPeak Solar applied to build a 500-megawatt solar project covering about 5,500 acres of desert land in southern California with the Bureau of Land Management. The project would be west of Highway 78, and 5 miles northwest of the town of Westmorland. Currently, the project is in the preliminary stage of development.

In opposing the application for the Imperial Valley Solar Project which is located in or near the same area, the Quechan Indian Tribe cited the SunPeak solar plant and noted that “[g]iven the number of projects in the immediate area proposed for already disturbed lands, there is simply no basis to approve the use of this sensitive cultural area, and the permanent destruction of hundreds of cultural resources, for temporary solar development.”  The tribe also noted concern for the cumulative impacts on the flat-tailed horned lizard habitat.

SOURCES: Imperial Valley Superstition: http://www.basinandrangewatch.org/SuperstitionSolar.html;
California Energy Commission: http://www.saltonseastakeholders.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=2YuTnqX0LBo%3D&tabid=68;
LA Times http://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/25/nation/na-desert25;
Letter by Senator Feinstein http://www.cadesertco.org/Feinstein_PR_3_18_09.pdf;
Quechan Indian Tribe Comments: http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/solartwo/documents/others/2010-05-17_Quechan_Indian_Tribe_Comments_TN-56757.PDF                                                                                                                                                                 

Last updated November 8, 2010