Supervisors to Approve Agreement with Solar Power Developer

Construction of the solar power-generating facility is scheduled to begin in June.

Riverside County supervisors are slated Tuesday to sign off on a development agreement with a Canadian solar power provider seeking to build on a 40-acre site north of Desert Center.

Following a Board of Supervisors' hearing last week, Ontario-based Canadian Solar Inc. received tentative approval to move ahead with its Indigo Ranch Project in the Victory Pass.

Construction of the solar power-generating facility is scheduled to begin in June.

According to county Transportation and Land Management Agency documents, Indigo Ranch will provide 4.5 megawatts of photovoltaic energy to Southern California Edison customers. An environmental impact report certified by the board found the project posed no significant hazards to the local area, which is largely uninhabited desert east of Eagle Mountain, off of Rice Road.

SCE has a 20-year power purchasing agreement locked in with the developer, with the option of re-upping for another 10 years. The development agreement with the county consists of a 30-year compact under which sales and use tax revenue stemming from the project will go into county coffers, by way of the State Board of Equalization.

The county also stands to net up to $101,000 in development impact fee revenue from the project, according to TLMA documents. However, county officials noted in the agreement that the current per-acre rate of $2,543 could change -- raising or lowering development impact fees -- depending on what the board decides when DIFs are revised in the coming weeks.

According to the TLMA, because of its location, the project is exempt from board policy B-29, under which solar developers are required to make ongoing payments of $150 per ace to ensure the county's compensated for utilization of land that might otherwise go to farming, recreation and housing, as well as for the permanent alteration of pristine desert landscapes.

– City News Service.

ChrisG May 03, 2014 at 10:18 AM
Solar only works efficiently 4-8 hours per day depending upon time of year and weather. Why not look to green geothermal power plants that produce clean energy 24/7? Natural gas power plants are very efficient, cheap and do not produce too much pollution. Solar and wind just don't produce the bang for buck we should be looking for in terms of energy production.
calimesajim May 03, 2014 at 10:48 AM
We get to pay more for electricity. California rates expected to increase 47%. due to alternative energy requirements.
Victoria May 03, 2014 at 03:30 PM
The cool thing about solar is that it can go on top of your roof. Do not need to destroy desert habitat so electric company can make more profit. Plus we have no American company to build this? Guess using American companies to install on roofs so as to collect from the sun (free) is just too much for some to take.
ChrisG May 03, 2014 at 03:54 PM
@victoria, I don't think anyone cares about the solar power plants footprint in the desert. It's more a question of why are they pushing this technology that does not produce the quantity of power we need over other proven technologies. Solar is fine on rooftops to supplement people's power and to supply needed energy during peak hours.
Bill Stewart May 20, 2014 at 10:21 PM
That will be a great help. I'm excited for solar power to become more global. I hope it will happen in the next couple of years. Bill | http://www.commercialenergysolution.com.au


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