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Owens Valley Solar Energy Study (OVSES)

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Owens Valley Solar Energy Study (OVSES)

Project Overview

As part of the Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) process the Owens Valley was separated out from the rest of the Solar Energy Development Areas (SEDAs) and re-designated the Owens Valley Study Area (OVSA) to be further evaluated at a finer scale for appropriateness of solar photovoltaic facility development.


The intention of the OVSES project is to:

  • Supplement and map the data and analysis generated by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) and the PEIR developed for the REGPA to cover the areas of the OVSA not included in the DRECP.
  • Coordinate with local experts for advice on the locations of biological, cultural and visual resources.
  • Work with local tribes to identify areas of cultural significance and map as appropriate.
  • Use the data and information gathered along with the criteria established for the OVSA to evaluate for solar energy appropriateness. Potential criteria include:
    • Only utilize existing transmission facilities.
    • Guide development to disturbed lands, including over and along the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
    • Consider encouraging development at: solid waste and wastewater treatment facilities; on private lands; in small-scale (e.g., roof tops), community scale (20-MW or less) andaround communities in smaller arrays (10-MW or less).
  • Explore potential mitigation impacts to the environment, society, culture, and economy of the County.
  • Work to avoid significant alterations to visual resources.
  • Minimize intertie facilities.
  • Use the evaluation to identify next steps.


The OVSES work will feed into ‘next steps’ and will guide what these next steps will be.

Materials from the Public Workshops

Owens Valley Solar Energy Study (Draft) Report

June 2nd-4th, 2015 Public Meetings and Tribal Workshop Summary

Vegetation Mapping

Inyo Photo Presentation



  For more information regarding the County's Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment:


Please contact the Planning Department at or by phone at (760) 878-0263

Upcoming Meetings and Important Dates:

Draft Final Report

March 1, 2016 Board of Supervisors Meeting

Agenda Request Form for March 1, 2016 BOS Meeting

January 27, 2016 Planning Commission Meeting

To review updated mapping for this project prior to the meetings:

Under search for the “Owens Valley Solar Energy Study (OVSES)” Gallery (or follow this link

Owens Valley Solar Energy Study


The California Energy Commission awarded Inyo County a grant to collect geospatial data, coordinate with tribal governments, local residents, and City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and prepare a study of the Owens Valley and Owens Lake.  The County has prepared the Owens Valley Solar Energy Study (OVSES) that includes geo-spatial data and information gathering for topics including: biological resources, visual resource, land use, and historic and cultural resources. Development of the OVSES also included a robust public outreach component.


The Planning Commission is scheduled to receive a presentation regarding the OVSES and provide input and recommendations for the Board of Supervisors’ consideration on January 27, 2016 at 10 a.m. in the Administrative Center in Independence.  For more information, please contact the Inyo County Planning Department at (760) 878-0263 or visit







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