East Bay Times – March 4
A 350-acre solar farm could rise from agricultural land north of Livermore after the Alameda County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the project on Thursday. But opponents of the project say they’ll continue the fight to prevent that from happening, this time by filing a lawsuit. They argue that Intersect Power’s Aramis Renewable Energy Project would tarnish the scenic value of rural north Livermore and conflict with requirements of Measure D, which county voters approved in 2000. Measure D aims to prevent development from sprawling to eastern Alameda County by protecting agriculture, open space, and wildlife. Project opponents argue that industrial solar operations aren’t compatible with agriculture and that Measure D mandates that any proposed changes to land use must be approved by residents.
The Healdsburg Tribune – February 26
Healdsburg hosted a virtual celebration with city council members on February 24 to commemorate the completion of the city’s floating solar array project, which will provide 8% of the city’s electric needs. With 11,600 solar panels, the project also has the distinction of being the largest floating solar array in the United States. The solar array will also help reduce harmful algae blooms in the wastewater pond and improve the quality of the recycled water used in vineyards and farms.
Santa Maria Times – February 24
Progress continues to be made on the $150 million Strauss Wind Energy Project in Lompoc 10 months after breaking ground, while efforts to protect the endangered Gaviota tarplant located on-site remain chief to its completion. The nearly 3,000-acre project will feature 29 wind turbine generators up to 492 feet tall.
Think Geoenergy – March 1
Swedish investment and development firm Baseload Capital has successfully closed a $25 million funding round with Chevron Technology Ventures as a new strategic investor. As an initial outcome of the alliance, Chevron Technical Center and Baseload Capital have already signed a letter of intent to investigate a potential pilot project in California.
PV-Tech – March 1
Xcel Energy has announced plans to double its renewables and battery storage capacity in Colorado by 2030, as the utility progresses with efforts to reach 100% carbon-free electricity generation across its service area by 2050. While the mix of renewables additions will be determined by a competitive bid process, Xcel’s preferred plan proposes adding up to: 1.6 GW of large-scale solar, nearly 1.3 GW of distributed solar, 2.3 GW of wind power, 400 MW of energy storage, and just under 1 GW of firm dispatchable resources (including natural gas).