Last week the Madera County Planning Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit for a 90 Megawatt utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) Lotus Solar Farm. The project is being done by 8minutenergy Renewables, LLC, a leading independent solar PV developer based in California.
Lotus Solar Farm is sited on 459 acres of private grazing land. The soil quality of the land is considered poor for row crops. The primary use of the land is for sheep to graze.
The solar farm is already in the advanced stages of engineering development. Once operational in late 2013, Lotus Solar Farm will produce enough electricity for approximately 34,000 households in California.
"I support thissolar project because I believe it will bring economic benefits in the form of new jobs and increased tax revenues to the people of Madera County," said Ronn Dominici, retired chairman of the Madera County Board of Supervisors.
"We are pleased that the Madera County Planning Commission recognizes the value of clean renewable solar energy development in the region," said Martin Hermann, chief executive officer of 8minutenergy Renewables, which has over 2,000 MW and 15,000 acres of private land under development for renewable solar projects in California. "We look forward to continuing to work with the county and all other parties involved to further develop this solar generation plant."
"Lotus Solar Farm will generate clean renewable energy for the people of California, and bring jobs and economic benefits to Madera County," said Tom Buttgenbach, president of 8minutenergy Renewables. "This project will create 12 new permanent jobs and several hundred construction jobs, and contribute $118 million in economic benefits to the region, including $2.7 million in additional property and sales taxes. We appreciate the role local support is playing in helping our project progress."
8minutenergy has more than 2,000 MW of solar power under development in California. All 8minutenergy solar projects are considered in-state resources and are located on low-value farm land.
"8minutenergy strives to ensure that its solar power projects provide low cost, clean renewable energy from the sun with low environmental impacts, particularly when compared with public lands projects on pristine desert wildlands," Hermann said.