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Letters to the Editor: Solar on all local warehouses makes more sense than long transmission lines

Imperial County
Rows of electricity transmission towers cross the Yuha Desert in California’s Imperial County.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Using existing power lines that once transported electricity from coal-fired plants is an excellent idea for bringing renewable energy into population centers. This decreases the need to build new massive transmission lines that connect faraway solar projects to the communities that consume the power, presumably reducing the impact on wildlife. (“Want jobs and clean energy? This overlooked technology could deliver both,” July 1)

The city of Los Angeles’ proposed partnership with the Navajo Nation to develop solar power on tribal lands via existing long-distance wires from a closed coal plant is outstanding.

I also think that we should consider using the thousands of flat roofs in industrial areas for solar panels. This would provide another source of clean energy close to communities that need it.

If a number of clustered warehouse owners agreed to install panels, a volume discount could be negotiated with the provider and installer to increase interest. The warehouses, most of which are closed at night, would have clean, inexpensive power to run their businesses and a shorter time frame for recouping their investment.

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We’re wasting an opportunity to increase clean energy sources right where they’re needed.

Amy Longanecker, San Diego

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To the editor: Why build transmission towers? Knowing that power lines start fires, fail in high winds, are opposed by neighbors and spoil views, and that power poles are a deadly hazard for motorists, why not bury the lines as is done in most new developments?

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We already have rights of way for buried water, sewer and gas lines. They’re called roads. Bury the power lines and save on the maintenance down the road. (Pun intended.)

Tessa Lucero, Canyon Country

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To the editor: Nowhere in this article is it acknowledged that malfunctioning power lines have led to some of our country’s worst and deadliest wildfires. To prevent such outcomes, power companies now have the authority to shut off electricity to people for a few hours or even a few days.

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A truly intelligent power system should focus on keeping the power source as local as possible. We should focus on building rooftop solar on all buildings and conservation first, then on transmission lines, instead of caving into corporate greed.

Sara Schmidhauser, Goleta


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