• Ryan Barbin

Looks that Kill

Nevada Residents Swipe Left on "Unattractive" New Clean Energy Project

Nevada's new Battle Born Solar Project, set to be the largest solar project in the United States, has officially been cancelled, following protests and petitions from local residents who were concerned that the clean energy installation would be "ugly."


The billion dollar project would have extended for about 14 square miles, 9,000 acres of land across Nevada's Mormon Mesa, amounting to the size of about 150 Allegiant Stadiums, and would have provided 2,600 new jobs, over $350 million in added value to the Southern Nevada economy. Battle Born was expected to significantly attribute to the supply of clean, renewable energy within Nevada by providing enough daytime energy needs for around 500,000 homes, . This is however no longer the case, as plans for it's construction alongside the Mormon Mesa road, 45 miles northeast of the Las Vegas valley, have now been terminated.




"I don’t want to look at 9,180 acres of solar panels when I come up here," said Lisa Childs, the founder of Save Our Mesa, a community-organized group from Overton and Logandale, Nevada, whose efforts to halt the proposed development on their recreational land have prevailed. “We are screaming at the top of our lungs to try to save this mesa,” Childs continued, "I'm not against the renewable energy, I'm just against losing this beauty."


Local residents and participants in the Save Our Mesa collective argued against the solar development construction, saying that it would be "ugly" and "an eyesore", robbing them of the natural beauty of the recreational land, which is often visited and utilized for hiking, camping, ATV and horseback riding, as well as visitors of "Double Negative", a land-sculpture created by artist Michael Heizer.


"Double Negative" was constructed by Heizer in 1969 and is commonly referred to as an environmental sculpture or land art. It consists of two long, strait trenches dug into a plateau, with a large separation of negative space in between; hence the name. "There is nothing there, yet it is still a sculpture," said Michael. This is fairly accurate, as basically it appears as a long, trenched hole in the ground. Yet, advocates against the solar build argued that construction of the Battle Born project would prevent tourists from visiting the sculpture, even though spokespersons from the company behind the project assured that the arrays would be set far back, not visible from the valley below, and accessibility to the land sculpture would not be hindered.

The response of "Not in my backyard" echoes the simple fact that regardless of any details or effects from the building of the renewable energy installation, residents simply do not want it constructed in it's initially planned location. Though the argument of it robbing the land of its beauty is up for debate, as such beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the efforts of a green energy development such as this are intended to assist in a bigger picture movement, promoting the environmental sustainability and beauty of Nevada overall in the long run. Alternatively, polluted air from fossil fuel energy production doesn't do much for the beautification and preservation of the land either, which leaves this a pretty delicate and subjective debate.


However, with Nevada's current target set on sourcing 50% of it's energy from renewables by 2030, and the current percentage only at about 28%, the Battle Born solar project has not yet raised it's white flag, and will likely arise again once a new location has been chosen. Several spots are in consideration as we speak, as the proposed solar array, in its original planning would have made up for one-tenth of Nevada's total energy capacity, which is a huge achievement for the environmental and renewable energy modernization efforts for the state.

For now it seems, in typical American superficial fashion, the first Battle Born building plan has lost the popular vote due to first-glance judgements based on looks, without seeing what more it has to offer. Battle Born went looking for love and Nevada swiped left, but Battle Born still has plenty of opportunities to find love in all the right places. It's only a matter of time.


Article Provided by: Solar Sun Pro - Las Vegas, NV - http://www.solarsunpro.com

Written by: Ryan Barbin - Digital Marketing and Content Creator - Solar Sun Pro


Sources:


I-Team: Company Withdraws Plans for Massive Solar Farm, Which Would Have Been Nevada's Largest. https://www.8newsnow.com/i-team/i-team-company-withdraws-plans-for-massive-solar-farm-which-would-have-been-nevadas-largest/


Huge Solar Plant Being Proposed on Mormon Mesa.

https://mvprogress.com/2020/07/22/huge-solar-plant-being-proposed-on-mormon-mesa/


Mormon Mesa Rally to Stop Industrial Solar Project.

http://www.basinandrangewatch.org/Battle-Born-Solar.html


The US's Largest Solar Farm is Cancelled Because Nevada Locals Don't Want to Look At It.

https://electrek.co/2021/07/26/us-largest-solar-farm-is-scrapped-because-nevada-locals-dont-want-to-look-at-it/


The Museum of Contemporary Art: Double Negative.

https://www.moca.org/visit/double-negative


















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