Four solar projects on non-prime ag land in Kings County are expected to move forward late this year totaling a hefty 336 megawatts. All are believed to hold power purchase agreements with a utility, a key milestone to toward actual construction.
The filings come as an environmental group urged earlier this year approval of solar projects on marginal or spent ag land in the Central Valley.
The Kings County Community Development Agency has invited public review and comment on the environmental documents listed below.
The public review period, for all four documents, begins on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, and ends on Friday, July 13, 2012.
INITIAL STUDIES PROPOSED AS NEGATIVE DECLARATIONS OR MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATIONS:
1. Conditional Use Permit No. 11-03 (River West Investments, Inc.) The applicant proposes to construct a 136 Megawatt
solar photovoltaic energy facility located at 17515 20th Avenue. Lemoore, CA. The 670 acre project is near Hanford and is being proposed by a firm from Sacramento headed by former homebuilder Brian Vail. SunPower is the developer. It is also labeled the Henrietta Solar project
2. Conditional Use Permit No. 11-09 (RE Mustang LLC) The applicant proposes to establish a 160 Megawatt solar photovoltaic energy facility located at 15866 25th Avenue, Lemoore, CA. The big project is one of several being proposed by SF based Recurrent energy owned by Sharp, a Japanese firm. The site is near the NAS Lemoore base. Recurrent also a a plan to build a 500MW solar farm near Tranquility in Fresno County.
3.Conditional Use Permit No. 12-01 (RE Orion LLC) – The applicant proposes to establish a 20 Megawatt solar photovoltaic
energy facility located at 16480 25th Avenue, Lemoore, CA.Orion is based in Oakland but Recurrent is the developer.
4. Conditional Use Permit No. 12-02 (RE Kent South LLC) – The applicant proposes to establish a 20 Megawatt solar
photovoltaic energy facility located at 17264 25th Avenue, Lemoore, CA. Recurrent is the developer
The Kings County Planning Commission will hold public hearings to consider the environmental documents for the proposed project Aug 6 7PM,at the BOS chambers.
109 South Valley Projects
A February 2012 report from the Defenders Of Wildlife says there are 59 solar PV projects in the permitting stage within the five southern San Joaquin counties that if built would generate 2,780 MW of power.This is in addition to 45 projects in those same counties that have already been approved that would generate 1,648 MW.That’s 109 solar projects pending in the south Central Valley that add up to 4,428MW, more than double 2 Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants.
Two large projects in the Westlands Water District that spans Fresno and Kings counties are in the permitting stage says the February report. One is Mustang in Kings County on 1400 acres being proposed by Recurrent mentioned earlier.The second in Fresno County is a a 1890 acre project near Mendota being proposed by SunPower that could generate 200MW.
Defenders Of Wildlife argue that such projects on “degraded” and “impaired” ag lands will help avoid farmland of higher quality as well as avoiding sites that are more sensitive environmentally with wildlife impacts for example – think some desert site proposals pending.
To help this area the group urges the PUC to upgrade electricity infrastructure in the area