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Owens Valley braces for possible new resource war as LADWP seeks the sun's gold




The first Los Angeles Aqueduct runs alongside the second aqueduct, which opened in 1970.
The first Los Angeles Aqueduct runs alongside the second aqueduct, which opened in 1970.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

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East of Highway 395, the sun rises over the reddish-brown Inyo Mountains. And it sets behind the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevadas. In between and 10,000 feet below, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wants to put 1 million solar panels on the flat of Owens Valley.

The idea is to solve a growing problem for the utility. L.A. has invested in a big transmission line up to the valley, but these days it's not carrying all the power it can.

KPCC's environment reporter Molly Peterson has the story.