The Livermore Community Solar Farm and Aramis Solar Energy Generation and Storage Project may have a questionable future thanks to Vinnie Bacon, District 1 Board of Supervisors candidate. Bacon recently announced his stance as a community solar opposer regarding the two projects. The candidate has voiced concerns over the 800-acre projects, which are to be managed by SunWalker Energy of Oakland and Intersect Power, respectively.
According to Bacon, he has always stood against the use of the acreage and, as a Sierra Club volunteer, has favored preserving the land. He states that, as a Fremont City Councilmember, he has pushed to prevent any construction, specifically anything pertaining to solar energy.
Bacon has long been a community solar opposer, stating that solar power plants weren’t the ideal strategy for generating clean energy for the county. To strengthen his stance, he has noted that roadways close to the expected project space are considered scenic corridors.
Fellow candidate David Haubert, who is fighting for the same position as Bacon, has yet to take a stance. He has plans to meet with the applicants for the solar projects and the Save North Livermore Valley solar farm opposition group. After those meetings, it is expected that Haubert will make a statement on whether he is for or against pursuing SunWalker’s Livermore Community Solar program and Intersect Power’s generation and storage project.
Intersect Power’s principle and environmental policy expert, Marissa Mitchell, states that the company has water quality management plans in place, along with options to prevent stormwater pollution. According to Mitchell, Intersect Power is required to follow state environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act. This ensures that Intersect’s generation and storage program will have minimal impact on the environment.
Despite plans in place by the proposing companies, Bacon has turned to Measure D to solidify his views on building on the land. Voted into action in 2000, Measure D protects open land by preventing urban sprawl. Bacon has argued that “urban sprawl” includes solar farms. Regarding the community solar project, Bacon states that the panels could be installed on rooftops and as parking lot canopies for space efficiency.
Currently, neither companies have a plan to stop progress on their projects.