Proposed SoCal desert solar plant scrapped

BARSTOW, Calif. - The sun has set on a proposed solar energy plant in the Southern California desert.

The K Road Calico Solar Project would have covered as many as six square miles of land with solar panels east of Barstow. The project could have generated enough electricity for 250,000 homes.

Environmentalists sued, saying the development would have damaged habitat for threatened species including the desert tortoise and bighorn sheep.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says the developer sent a letter to the California Energy Commission last Friday surrendering its license for the development, citing "changed market conditions."

It's the second solar project dropped in the past six months in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. BrightSource Energy Co. abandoned a planned 12-square-mile solar installation near Blythe in January because of cost issues.

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