Aramis Solar Energy Generation and Storage project given green, California

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The Alameda County Board of Supervisors has approved the construction of the contentious Aramis Solar Energy Generation and Storage project by Intersect Power in Alameda County, California. The 100-MW/138-MW DC solar project proposed by clean infrastructure investor Intersect Power LLC is expected to be constructed on a plot of land that is 4110 acres and will take nine months before being completed. 400 jobs have been estimated to be created. Once up and running, the solar farm is expected to produce enough electricity to cover the consumption of around 25,000 homes per year. Its output will help offset about 188,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually, according to the developer’s estimates.

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Prior to the decision, some opponents of the Aramis Solar Energy Generation and Storage project stated in public comment that they intended to sue, should the board approve the project; they stated Aramis would harm the ecosystem and endanger federally protected species located at the site, all while covering protected agricultural lands with an industrial power plant. With several weighing into voice support of the project and a need for navigating away from fossil fuels, the supervisors said both sides issued strong arguments in the debate that pitted environmentalists against one another for different reasons. Following the Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA) decision in November to recommend approval of the project, three project opponents, Save North Livermore Valley (SNLV), Friends of Livermore, and Friends of Open Space and Vineyards filed appeals. The fourth to appeal was applicant Intersect Power itself, taking issue with the BZA’s conditional-use permit (CUP) requirements.

The fate of the project almost saw another turn earlier when District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle initiated a motion to remand the project to the planning commission. At which point, Intersect Power Principal Marisa Mitchell said the action, which staff confirmed would result in a 90-day delay, would kill the project a claim that both supervisors Wilma Chan and Keith Carson pushed.