Neighbor fears new solar project could block picturesque views
Residents upset about solar panel project Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Some homeowners in one Northwest community say a new project could block the picture perfect view their community offers.
"It came as a total shock," explained Maria.
Maria did a lot of research before choosing to become a homeowner in the Providence community near Hualapai and Deer Springs about two years ago.
"The community was so beautiful we loved the arbors and the light fixtures and the promenade," said Maria.
She also loved the landscape views of Mount Charleston in the background. But last week she learned something else will soon be added to the view.
"They are intending to put up 27 foot by 45 foot panels in the promenade area over by our beautiful promenade," said Maria.
Maria got a flier in the mail from the Las Vegas Valley Water District. It details plans to test and build a renewable energy system.
In addition to three solar arrays, which look like panels, a 33 foot weather tower go up inside the Elkhorn Reservoir and Pumping Station to collect data. Power poles in the area are as high as 115 feet.
"The biggest concern for me is definitely what it is going to look like in our neighborhood," said Maria.
Bronson Mack with the Las Vegas Valley Water District says the project fits the neighborhood.
"Providence is a green community. They've got homes here that do run on solar. They've got all water smart landscaping community," said Bronson.
This type of technology is a first on a water district site. The electricity generated will power the pumping station, which moves the water, lowering demand on the overall power grid. Mack says given the height of the panels and tower, many homeowners will see them.
"There is an elevation difference that we have here between our property and the residential. It's about a five foot difference," said Bronson.
He says that's why the Las Vegas Valley Water District went door to door specifically to homes along the wall of the reservoir to get the word out.
"It's right in the center of Providence. Literally, you couldn't put it any closer to the center of our community," said Maria.
The project is funded by a grant from the Department of Energy, meaning it's green in more ways than one.
"It's not going to cost the ratepayers or the residents of Las Vegas a dime," said Bronson.
Sandia National Laboratories and the UNLV is partnering with the Las Vegas Valley Water District on this project.
To help answer questions the Las Vegas Valley Water District is hosting a public meeting Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Centennial Hills YMCA at 6601 North Buffalo, next to the library. Construction on this project is expected to start this summer and should take about two months.