San Bernardino County approved a utility scale solar power project called Dagget Solar Power. This solar photovoltaic electricity generation and energy storage facility will produce up to 650 megawatts (MW) of power and include up to 450 MW of battery storage capacity on approximately 3,500 acres of land.
Who is Building it? Clearway Energy Group
Clearway Energy Group will build this solar power generation and storage facility on 3,500 acres near the Barstow-Daggett airport.
The project approval faced some hiccups as The Newberry Community Services District, an organization that provides services to residents in Daggett and Newberry Springs appealed against the project plan requesting an Bernardino County to reject the proposed plan.
California to double its clean energy by 2030: Daggett Solar Power Facility is the Answer
“In March, 2020 California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 46 million metric tons by 2030” reported Reuters last year.
According to that regulatory target, the state’s electricity providers need to bring 25 gigawatts of renewable energy and battery storage in the system. Plus, the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, California Energy Commission committed to producing half of the state’s electricity from clean renewable sources.
With these government level mandates, the San Bernardino county took the lead to bring Daggett Solar Power project next to the site of a retired coal and natural gas plant in San Bernardino. With a top down agenda, this is the most pressing reason why Dagget project is underway.
However, there are several benefits as well that agencies and press has reported about.
Tax Revenues, Millions in Spending, and New Jobs
Apart from the state requirement to produce 50% of electricity via renewable energy sources by 2030, the project aims to bring some benefits as well to the San Bernardino County. For instance:
- The County expects to collect millions of dollars, around $18.5 million to the property tax revenue
- Proximity to the existing electrical transmission infrastructure which makes it easy to sell the renewable energy statewide
- The project will provide clean and renewable energy to around 200,000 homes annually. With that being said, the project will help the San Bernardino County to offset 510,000 metric tons of carbon footprints annually.
- It will also boost spending in the County. Per official estimates, the project will result in a spending of $210 million in the community during construction. And approximately $5 million will be spent per annum during operations.
This FAQ article will help answer more of what you might be thinking about California’s energy plan.
Nonetheless, locals have raised some objections to the project.
Some Objections to the Project
Common objections cited by residents and nearby rural communities include:
- Health hazards caused by blowing dust
- Protection of scenic views
- Preservation of habitat and wildlife
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