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Desert solar farm to boost economy in San Joaqiun Valley

Large-scale solar power represents a way out of those economic troubles for Westlands.

Finally! One Big Solar Project Environment and Business Can Agree On, The Energy Collective, by Taylen Peterson 04/06/2010 “….The plan involves the reuse of “dead” farmland in the San Joaquin Valley. Years of intense farming has left a huge amount of acreage overly salty and fallow. And unlike other proposed solar sites in California, especially the Mojave Desert, this land is not habitat to endangered species.

So without much other use for the land, local residents, environmentalists and industry are pleased with the solar prospect.Better yet, there’s plenty of land to be used. More than 600,000 acres are available in Fresno and Kings counties, most of which are owned by the Westlands Water District. This is the largest district of its kind in the nation. The first piece of acreage proposed for solar power alone is roughly the size of San Francisco and could provide up to 1 gigawatt of solar electricity and power one million homes.

The plant still has the regulatory process to overcome, including issues like transmission upgrades, but nothing too out of the ordinary. In fact, the site has been designated as a large-scale energy zone by the California Energy Commission, so a number of rules and regulations have already been met.

The project is important for the Westlands Water District, a public entity, due to mounting debt resulting from drought and environmental issues. Large-scale solar power represents a way out of those economic troubles for Westlands. I suppose the district should be especially thankful that it has one of the only Big Solar projects that everyone seems to agree on.

Finally! One Big Solar Project Environment and Business Can Agree On

April 8, 2010 - Posted by | renewable, USA | , , , ,

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