Solar project questions remain

This was sent to the Ramona Community Planning Group, San Diego County Board of Supervisors and San Diego County Planning commissioners.

By Joe Minervini

After Dec. 1’s RCPG meeting I realized there are still many more questions about the proposed industrial sized solar electric project on Warnock and Ramona Street that need to be asked and questions that need to be answered in totality.

1. Paul Stykel, a RCPG member, asked for a visual presentation of what motorists would see while driving down Dye Road. I called it the “line of sight.”

Most of the Group did not follow suit with Paul’s request. We need to be able to see a rendition, a computer model of what we will see when this project is complete. Are we to simply assume one will not be able to see these structures while driving because there is a 6-foot fence?

2. I kept hearing that at a 45-degree angle, the highest part of the “SolFocus Concentrated PV solar panel arrays,” would be 8 feet. When I googled “SolFocusPV solar arrays,” I saw pictures of these “solar arrays.” These huge panels can go from horizontal to almost true vertical.

How high will the top of these solar panels be when they are almost vertical when tracking the sun when it sets on the horizon? Do we have a guarantee from Sol Orchard that the tops of these arrays will never automatically rotate over 8 feet ?

3. If the mentality of some of our planning group members is “What difference does our decision make; the county will decide what they want to do regardless of what we say,” then I say it’s time for them to “man up” and go fight the county on behalf of Ramona. I know most people would say that solar power is good, but why does SDGE have to put these solar farms where we can see them every day — right in our face? There are huge ranches out of sight in the Ramona area. Put them there! “Out of sight, out of mind.”

4. SDGE lists two solar projects for Ramona (see SDGE ADVICE LETTER 2268-E (U902-E) dated July 6,2011)…they call them “Ramona 1” (1.5-2.5 MW Capacity) and “Ramona 2” ( 3.5 MW Capacity). I assume both 1 and 2 are on this same property?

5. I learned from a county official that there are no zoning regulations that prohibit a massive solar panel farm on agricultural property. Considering the number of solar farm projects on the books in San Diego County (there are 21 at last count), it’s time for the San Diego County Planning Department and the Board of Supervisors to put a stop to any future progress with these visually distressing projects and start working on a better way to plan where these projects can go. It’s called “Zoning and Planning.”

6. In my opinion, the only reason SDGE wants to put this solar farm on Warnock and Ramona Street is because it is close to existing power infrastructure, i.e. it will save them cost at the expense of Rural Ramona — money, money money.

I fear what “green” and greed may do to our Rural Ramona. Some people just don’t give a damn about their neighbors.

Joe Minervini is a Ramona resident.

Related posts:

  1. Solar farm project meets resistance from planning group
  2. Proposed solar farm poses dilemma for planners
  3. Planners, residents voice concerns about solar farm
  4. RMWD solar projects scheduled for end-of-year completion
  5. Water district expects to generate savings with solar

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Dec 22 2011. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

5 Comments for “Solar project questions remain”

  1. I've seen the Solfocus arrays in person, and they are very cool, and in my opinion aesthetically pleasing. They are definitely not an eyesore, and are interesting to many people who are interested in science and technology.

    Shutting down a solar or wind project because you don't like how it looks is very ignorant. Would you rather occasionally see something that looks unfamiliar, or poison yourself by breathing pollution?

  2. Mike

    You may want to get some facts straight before you start all the SDGE bashing. Sol Orchard has promised SDGE the solar farms. Sol Orchard will build the plants and is responsible for the building sites. If your not happy with the sites then talk to Sol Orchard. Your question in paragraph 3 "why does SDGE have to put these solar farms where we can see them every day — right in our face? I think I just answered that.

    Your opinion listed in paragraph 6 is correct though. Regardless of where the solar plants are built by Sol Orchard they have the be connected to the system. Any additonal power lines that need to be built to transport the solar to the system will cost extra, and guess where the cost for that ends up, on your bill. And not just people in Ramona's bill but all of SDGE territory. I don't fault SDGE for asking for the solar to be close to the existing power lines. Makes sense to me to try to keep the costs down for their customers.

    • Joe Minervini


      You missed the point. I was aware of Sol Orchard and how/why the ugly sites are are chosen….my point is that SDGE should be more caring of where they put the projects. I care of what the heart of Ramona looks like,SDGE does not. If you live in Ramona you should care also.

  3. Mike

    SDGE buys the power from Sol Orchard. Sol Orchard selects the spot and builds the site. What does SDGE have to do with where Sol Orchard builds the site?

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