The massive Ivanpah solar energy project, a 392 megawatt thermal solar power project that was approved for construction in the Mojave Desert in Southern California, has been halted by a lawsuit. The project has been brought against the project by a conservation group to protect the desert tortoise.
The lawsuit has been proposed by the Western Watersheds Project (WWP) in the US District Court for Central California, with the allegations being that the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service failed to comply with federal environmental laws.
The first work was started on the Ivanpah project in October 2010 but the desert tortoise has been listed as threatened under the 1990 Endangered Species Act and it appears that there has been absolutely no work done on some critical fact finding about the animals. Things such as finding out how many of the animals lived in the area, the effect that blocking off one end of the north Ivanpah Valley, etc.
The claim is that the government bodies rushed the huge renewable energy project through as part of a way of accommodating those projects who were hustling to receive multi-billion dollar tax credits that were about to expire on December 31, 2010.
The group would like the court to grant an injunction to stop construction on the site until a full trial can be held.