February 17, 2021
Opposition to Aramis Industrial Solar Plant from East Bay Environmental Organizations Grows
The Alameda Creek Alliance and Ohlone Audubon Society have recently joined five other leading East Bay environmental organizations in opposing the massive Aramis industrial solar plant and energy storage facility proposed for North Livermore Valley. 

In addition to the Alameda Creek Alliance and Ohlone Audubon Society, East Bay nonprofit organizations opposed to the Aramis Project include:

"The Alameda Creek Alliance opposes the Aramis industrial solar plant, which is poorly sited. It would occupy land immediately adjacent to Cayetano Creek which is designated as Water Management land under the Alameda County zoning code,” stated Jeff Miller, President of the Alameda Creek Alliance. “Solar projects are not permitted on Water Management land. The Aramis Project would be detrimental for Cayetano Creek and set a bad precedent allowing further industrial-scale development next to creeks in other rural areas of Alameda County."
"The Alameda Creek Alliance supports distributed urban and rooftop solar to meet green energy needs, rather than siting industrial-scale solar plants on dwindling open space, wildlife habitat, and agricultural lands in the county," Miller added.

The Ohlone Audubon Society advocates for the protection of birds and their habitats in Southern and Eastern Alameda County. Its opposition to the Aramis Project follows similar opposition to the project from the Golden Gate Audubon, which focuses on protecting native birds and other wildlife species in the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly in San Francisco and western Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

The Golden Gate Audubon Society found that the biological surveys which form the basis of the environmental impact report on the Aramis Project were “inadequate” and that the project “will permanently alter over 500 acres of critical habitat” for multiple threatened bird species.

“We are grateful for the support of the Alameda Creek Alliance and Ohlone Audubon Society to preserving the open space and natural habitat of North Livermore Valley. It is one of the last undeveloped and productive agricultural areas remaining in Alameda County,” stated Merlin Newton of the Save North Livermore Valley steering committee. “As important as it is to expand renewable energy to address climate change, its equally important to preserve the biodiversity of our planet. We shoot ourselves in the foot if we destroy our environment in an attempt to save it.”

Moreover, every environmental agency that has examined the Aramis Project has found the environmental impact report is deficient and that sensitive species will be harmed or killed if the project is built. These public agencies are:

Each of the above links goes to comment letters on the Aramis Project by the respective agency or organization.
Aramis Project Site Video
This short video was taken at Manning Road near North Livermore Avenue earlier this month.

North Livermore Valley combines a rare protected scenic corridor with agricultural land and numerous threatened species. Alameda County residents voted to protect it.

Save North Livermore Valley appreciates the need to expand renewable energy to address climate change, but in a thoughtful manner that safeguards the open space and agricultural land of Alameda County.
Contact County Officials Today
On March 4, 2021, the Board of Supervisors will review the Aramis Project. Please click the green button above to contact the Alameda County Supervisors and staff today. Please add a subject line, such as Reject the Aramis Solar Power Plant, and your name and city of residence to the end of your message.

Here is suggested text you can cut and paste into your email message:


Dear Board of Supervisors and County Officials:

I respectfully request that you reject the Aramis solar project for the following reasons:

1) Before examining any individual utility-scale solar projects, the county should deliver on the promise to produce a comprehensive solar policy for East Alameda County. Alameda County should do what Contra Costa and Santa Clara Counties have already done: determine which rural areas of the county are appropriate for industrial solar facilities and only allow these plants in those areas that pose the least conflict with open space, agricultural land, natural habitat and scenic resources.

Alameda County started working on a solar policy a decade ago, and then suspended the work in 2013. Only after considerable public pressure did the county finally restart this work last Fall. The Board of Supervisors should complete a solar policy before reviewing the Aramis project as it is clear North Livermore Valley is not the location where the county should first allow the construction of utility scale solar facilities.

2) The Aramis project will destroy North Livermore Valley's scenic beauty. No method exists to hide or obscure the visual assault on the valley from the Aramis project's 300,000+ eight-foot tall solar panels, new electrical substation, scores of lithium-ion battery stations, and overhead electrical transmission lines, some on towers reaching ten stories high.

These facts are not in dispute. The Final Environmental Impact Report found that the Aramis project will have “a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista." Even with landscaping, the report concluded that the adverse aesthetic impact remains “significant and unavoidable.”
3) The Aramis project will obliterate habitat for numerous special status species including the California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog and Western burrowing owl. The agricultural land also serves as a wildlife corridor important to maintaining the biodiversity of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. 

4) The Aramis project violates Measure D. Under voter-approved Measure D, the agricultural lands of Alameda County, including North Livermore, are to be preserved, enhanced and protected from “excessive, badly located and harmful development.” Commercial electricity power generation and the industrial storage of electrical energy are not agricultural uses of the land. 

5) Other, environmentally superior, ways exist to generate greater renewable energy. Alameda County can generate much greater renewable energy than the Aramis project while preserving its agricultural land by promoting the installation of solar panels on rooftops of home and businesses, over parking lots and next to freeways. 
In conclusion, North Livermore Valley is designated as an agricultural district and should remain one.
The Aramis Project

As shown in the partial visualization, the 100 MW Aramis project will convert hundreds of acres of North Livermore Valley into an industrial zone. No solar power plant of the magnitude of the Aramis project exists in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Over 270,000 eight-foot-tall solar panels will spread across approximately 350 acres of agricultural. Miles of new internal access roads, security fences, and overhead electrical transmission lines, some on towers 10 stories high, will be constructed.

On five acres, the land will be excavated, and concrete will be poured to serve as the foundation for a new electrical power station, water tanks and scores of trailer-truck size lithium-ion battery stations.

The Beauty of Our Valley
Just a short drive or bike ride from the City of Livermore and north of Highway 580, the North Livermore Valley has been zoned for agricultural and rural residential uses since the 1950s.

For nearly the same period Alameda County has recognized North Livermore Avenue in its General Plan as a scenic corridor and sought to preserve the area’s outstanding scenic quality. 

About Save North Livermore Valley

We started as a group of farm and ranch families and other members of the North Livermore Valley Rural Community. We have been joined by over 300 concerned residents in the City of Livermore and Tri-Valley area united for the purpose of preserving the open space, agricultural land and wildlife habitat of North Livermore Valley for future generations.