This article, written by ICF International, summarizes visual resources management for renewable solar electrical energy generation in the California desert. The number of utility-scale renewable solar electric energy proposals is increasing in the California desert because of the existence of areas of high solar incidence index and the availability of vast amounts of land. Military bases in the California desert are a logical place for such installations because of their heavy energy use and the current administration’s edict that federal agencies lead the way in reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
Planning the appropriate location of a facility to minimize its visual dominance is the preferred method of visual resource management. Attempting to visually mitigate a solar facility that is poorly sited can be a futile effort. However, a well-conceived project location will require little or no visual mitigation.
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