Part Two: IID and Renova Solar Battle Over Legislation

Part Two: IID and Renova Solar Battle Over Legislation

Kitty Alvarado Connect

Imperial Irrigation District is on the attack, they want their customers to oppose legislation introduced by Assemblyman Chad Mayes, (R) Yucca Valley, that would require IID to add six Coachella Valley members to their board made up of five Imperial County members.

Emmanuel Martinez with IID says AB 854 is being pushed by the CEO of Renova Energy Vincent Battaglia, “To advance his for profit agenda at the expense of the ratepayers served by the IID.”

Battaglia was not available for an interview, but he vehemently denies the claims in a statement to NBC Palm Springs that reads in part:

“I brought this up to several legislators as a concerned citizen and Assembly member Mayes took it upon himself to take action …”

Mayes backs his statement saying he gets ideas for legislation from many sources and in this case, city leaders and Renova brought up an issue that needs to be resolved, “When it was brought to me, it seemed very clear, that when you have 60 percent of the people within the IID power area that do not have the right to vote, that’s got to be, got to be fixed.”

IID and Renova have gone back and forth since net metering was halted in 2016 that allows solar customers to sell back power they generate to utility companies.

Martinez says Battaglia has a history of trying to influence politicians just as he’s done with the county ordinance they’re suing against, “The judge ruled in IID’s favor … so given that unfavorable outcome for Renova and the county Renova has now moved on and is now using another platform.”

In his statement Battaglia goes on to say IID is attempting in vain to dismiss the bill using untruths, propaganda and he’s just trying to right what’s fundamentally wrong.

Mayes says his office respects the services and rates IID provides and wants to work with them, “They’re not our foe … we just need to make sure that we right this wrong.”

But IID says they’re right.

“What’s at stake here is water and energy rights and this is non negotiable for the Imperial Irrigation District,” says Martinez.

Here’s Vincent Battaglia’s full statement:

My involvement in the Assembly Bill that the IID is attempting in vain to dismiss using untruths, propaganda and scare tactics aimed at an unknowing public, has nothing to do with solar or anything energy-related.

This is a tactic used by the IID in the hopes that they can throw folks off the scent of fear that they are currently experiencing as any adjustment to their unethical way of operating would be ruinous to their monopoly in the region that they were licensed in pre-modern times, over 100 years ago.
Having the upper hand in a current lawsuit that the Board of the Imperial Irrigation District initiated allows me a view into just how difficult it is to work with the Board without duly elected Representatives living outside of the Imperial Valley. I brought this up to several Legislators as a concerned citizen and Assembly member Mayes took it upon himself to take action.
My line of work and field of expertise have nothing to do with the spirit of this piece of legislation, though my high-level of integrity and desire to make right what I know is fundamentally wrong does. God bless Assembly member Mayes and his desire to do right by his constituents and God bless those who can see through the ruse that the nefarious IID and its backers are acting on.