Letters to the Editor: Building solar power plants that trample desert habitat isn’t progress

Ivanpah solar power plant
Mirrors reflect sunlight at the Ivanpah solar facility near the California-Nevada border.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I appreciate the Los Angeles Times covering issues on public lands, including in Nevada. The article on the Gemini Solar Project, however, reads like news about utility-scale solar projects from a decade ago.

We have learned so much about the impacts of these large-scale energy developments on the Mojave Desert ecosystems of California and Nevada that I was hoping for more detail. Scientists studying desert tortoises have huge concerns over the impacts of “mowing” the desert scrub and microphyll as well as connectivity for wildlife.

In our rush to fight climate change, we should consider the last wild places on our public lands and not forget about biodiversity. I would like to read more about the better alternatives to digging up our precious desert landscapes, including distributed energy resources, advanced rooftop solar systems, microgrids and more.

This is where our sustainable future is.


Laura Cunningham, Beatty, Nev.

The writer is co-founder of the group Basin and Range Watch.

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