March 5, 2021
Supervisors Approve Aramis Project, Our Campaign To Save North Livermore Valley Continues

The Board of Supervisors, including new District 1 Supervisor David Haubert, voted to deny our appeal of the Board of Zoning Adjustments decision approving the massive Aramis industrial solar project. In a nutshell, the Supervisors acknowledged the strength of our arguments but said fighting climate change trumps protecting agricultural land, open space and scenic corridors.

The Board took this action despite Intersect Power never providing a complete and accurate visualization of the entire project. In short, neither the Supervisors nor the public know what the Aramis project will actually look like.

We continue to believe that we should never destroy the environment to save the environment. We will provide a further update in the coming days, and outline our strategy moving forward.

Thank you everyone that stayed to the end of the 10 hour meeting and spoke. Thank you as well to the 175+ supporters that emailed the Supervisors prior to the vote.

At the hearing, the Intersect Power spokesperson stated that the Aramis project was a "needle in a haystack," e.g. there was no other location in the county in which it could be sited. She neglected to mention that there are multiple "needles" in the haystack. County planners have already approved a second large scale solar plant, called Sunwalker, also in North Livermore Valley.

Sadly, the effort by private energy companies to transform one of the last remaining agricultural districts in Alameda County into an industrial zone has begun. The Sunwalker project will likely come before the Board of Supervisors for review next month.
There is one silver lining, and key success, we take pride in achieving. At the last minute, Intersect Power agreed to apply to state and federal environmental agencies for "take permits" and provide compensatory land mitigation.

The County Planning Department had approved the Aramis project, and remarkably the national Sierra Club had endorsed the project, without insisting upon any compensatory land mitigation.

Aside from discounting the significant biological harm the project will inflict on numerous threatened species, the failure to require compensatory land mitigation would have set a terrible precedent for all future large development projects in rural East Alameda County.

But for the advocacy of so many people in the community and our filing of an appeal, as well as Friends of Livermore and Friends of Open Space and Vineyards submitting appeals, plus the hard work of wildlife biologist Karen Swain and other biologists at multiple public agencies, Intersect Power would never have made this concession.

We will, however, need to see how this plays out. Against the overwhelming weight of evidence, Intersect Power continues to argue that no sensitive species are present at the site.
The Beauty of Our Valley
North Livermore Valley combines a rare protected scenic corridor with agricultural land and numerous threatened species. This short video was taken at the proposed Aramis project site in Feb. 2021. The fields and views shown in the video will no longer exist if the project is approved.
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 400 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.