Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is Tessera Solar Good for Saguache County?


In mid-October the Saguache County Commissioners gave the 1,525-acre (2.3 mile2) Tessera Solar project the green light despite the failure of the company to provide critical information – setting a dangerous precedent that could undermine the 1041 permitting process and put a poorly conceived massive industrial development one step closer to approval. 
  • NOISE from 5,760 Stirling engines greatly EXCEEDS state and county noise limits and will radiate widely in our acoustically sensitive valley (listen and view SunCatchers here)
  • 140 MILES OF ROADS and TRENCHES will obliterate hundreds of acres of wetlands, wildlife and degrade water quality. Tessera is avoiding 404-permit compliance required by the Clean Water Act.
  • LAND VALUES and SUSTAINABILITY of our Saguache County ranching economy could be seriously reduced marking the beginning of industrialization of the northern San Luis Valley.
  • The health, welfare and safety of the citizens of Saguache County will be protected and servedFAILS
  • All reasonable alternatives have been assessed and the proposed action represents the best interests of [ALL] of this County and resources in the impact areaFAILS
  • The natural and socio-economic environment of this County will be protected and enhancedFAILS
  • A satisfactory program to mitigate and minimize adverse impacts has been presentedFAILS
  • The nature and location of the facility complies with all applicable provisions of the master plan, solar guidelines, …and other regional, metropolitan, state and national plansFAILS
  • As many jobs/lives will be adversely affected as enhanced while surrounding property values will go to zero.
  • Most construction jobs will go to people outside the County.
  • Lodging, materials purchases and the associated sales taxes will go outside the county.
  • Permanent jobs for County residents will be mostly window washing at night. Is that the kind of job you want for your kids?
  • Operational sales taxes are based on unknown SunCatcher efficiency and weather
In other words….it won’t be what they claim.


Renewable energy can be developed wisely and in a way that honors the many other values that make the San Luis Valley a unique and wonderful place to live.  Colorado and the San Luis Valley are blessed with diverse solar, geothermal, wind and small hydro energy resources.

With proven policy incentives like Feed-in tariffs and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, the San Luis Valley could meet 100% of its energy needs through distributed energy generation. Locally based energy would generate many more quality jobs and put solar profits in the pockets of business owners, farmers, ranchers, residents and our communities – not flowing out of the valley into the coffers of utility companies leaving us with an industrial wasteland and spiraling utility bills.


LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD  The 3 Saguache County Commissioners, Sam Pace, Linda Joseph and Mike Spearman have the sole power of decision on Tessera’s permit application.  You can help redirect this misguided project by taking the following action:
  • Sign the PETITION to Deny Tessera’s 1041 Permit Application distributed in public places around Saguache County and the SLV, or sign online above.
  • Attend the PUBLIC HEARING on MON., Dec. 6, 2010. Tessera presents at 2 pm, the public comment period follows, from 4-7 pm 501 4th Street - Saguache County Courthouse (at Cristy) Saguache. Check http://www.saguachecounty.net/depts/landuse/ for updates and agenda.
  • SHARE your comments and concerns with friends, family and others who you know care about the future of the San Luis Valley and responsible renewable energy development.  Send you  LETTERS to newspaper Editors to help build awareness of these important issues.
Our mission is to build local energy self-reliance while sustaining the San Luis Valley's unique sense of place, intact landscapes, ecosystems and rural, agrarian way of life. SLVRCA is taking the lead on these challenging and controversial energy policy issues in response to growing citizen concern and we need your participation and financial support to meet our legal, operations and outreach costs.  You can help by making a donation online (secure paypal button on column at left) or send a check to: SLVRCA, P.O. Box 447, Saguache, CO 81149


Anonymous said...

How much is big oil paying you?

Ceal Smith said...

Big Oil, Big Solar - same folks, same old destructive energy model. It's time we move away from sacrificing our communities and environment for big energy corporate profit. As Hermann Scheer pointed out, solar is the energy of the people. We can reduce, conserve and do solar (and other renewables) right this time.

Angie said...

This Valley is a special, protected area..........the wonderful wildlife in this Valley will likely leave, negatively impacting the environment.....
There are strict RESIDENTIAL laws concerning noise and light emmissions in the San Luis Valley...why doesn't this apply to this project?

Anonymous said...

This is another classic example of the "not in my back yard" philosophy usually enjoyed by the more affluent societies...or the uninformed. If I hear another argument about someone's view being impinged upon I'm going to scream. What a spoiled bunch. We have an opportunity to create intense solar powered energy because of the unique ammount of sun we get combined with our elevation, and yet we're concerned about our VIEW?? Way to go folks...lets just keep the coal plants burning bright and support drilling for oil in someone elses neighborhood while we sit back and eat cake. Oh, and enjoy the view because you won't enjoy the air.

Ceal Smith said...

Why are the negative comments always anonymous? Show yourself! Your comment reflects a basic lack of understanding of the issues. We WANT solar in our back yards! We want it in EVERYONE'S back yard, parking lot rooftop, pivot circle corner and field. That's the whole point. It makes no economic or technical sense to concentrate solar far away from the point of use over expensive and inefficient transmission lines. Economies of scale do not offset the losses and extra cost of long-distance transmission. We are all working very hard to reduce our energy use and make local renewable generation a possibility for everyone.

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