REGPA Materials & Documents
What is Renewable Energy and What Types are There?
The Planning Department has prepared a Background Report for the REGPA. It has been prepared to give an overview of Inyo County’s current and previous efforts to include policies for renewable energy development in its General Plan. It includes a summary of work regarding renewable energy development done by many other agencies, organizations and jurisdictions that the County finds important to consider in the development of General Plan policy. It also provides a foundation for potential criteria that can be incorporated into any effort by the County to identify areas that may be appropriate for renewable energy development.
Opportunities and Constraints Technical Study (OCTS)
OCTS Updated Chapter 5 - Cultural Resources Section
The 2011 REGPA
In 2010 the County adopted Inyo County Code (ICC)-Title 21, the Renewable Energy Ordinance. After its adoption, County staff began work on an update to the General Plan to provide policy direction for commercial scale renewable energy generation development. The 2011 REGPA was completed in April, 2011. It was developed based on outreach to local, regional, State, Tribal and national stakeholders, government agencies, and the interested public. As part of this update, a General Plan Land Use Designation Overlay was developed that identified where renewable energy projects, specifically solar and wind, might be developed. These areas were identified as places appropriate for further review for potential development, and were not pre-selected sites for development. The areas were identified with criterion that was based on site specific studies, environmental review, and permitting requirements pursuant to the Renewable Energy Ordinance and other applicable State, federal, and local laws. The update to the General Plan consisted of additions to the language in the Land Use, Public Services and Facilities, Economic Development, Conservation and Open Space, and Public Safety Elements. The updates focused on: identifying the appropriate means to develop renewable wind and solar energy resources, provided that social, economic, and environmental impacts are minimized; offsetting costs to the County and lost economic development potential, and mitigation of economic effects; working to protect military readiness, and; considering conversions of lands utilized for agriculture, mining, and recreation.
In November 2011, the County was forced to rescind the REGPA due to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) litigation. This litigation was brought forth by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club. Their argument was based on the idea that a Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) should have been prepared for the REGPA. The County contended that it was not necessary as any, and every, proposed renewable energy generation project would be required to include a project EIR. The County; however, lacked the resources to defend its position against the well-financed complaints.