The Panoche Valley Solar Project is a 250-MW solar photovoltaic power station designed to generate clean energy for nearly 70,000 homes throughout San Benito County, California. As part of the state of California’s push to meet renewable energy goals, the project is scheduled for completion in 2019.
Before the project could begin, our environmental permitting teams were asked to develop a plan for maintaining local flora and fauna, including the preservation of many sensitive native species living in the project area. The environmental impact statement we developed in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management recommended 176 acres of conservation easement and
the preservation of 35 acres of high-priority species habitat.
Our team developed the public engagement approach, which included notices for local newspapers and letters to landowners to inform them of the project and its goals. Translation of brochure materials to explain the risks of Valley fever, a fungal infection found in the project area, were distributed to residents in the area, and a telephone hotline is being monitored to answer questions from citizens and organizations.
We also took part in providing public and stakeholder outreach services to build further local support for the project. Working closely with the Panoche School District, we are working to gain federal funding for fiber-optic network cables and owner funding for the installation of solar panels at this rural school.
Owner's engineer support
Preconstruction plan preparation
Acquisition of long-term conservation easements
Program management support
Environmental permitting and permit negotiation support
Review and preparation of permit applications
Supporting materials for CWA Section 404 and EIS for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; CWA Section 401 Certification for Regional Water Quality Control Boards; 2081/2009 ITP and LSAA for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Biological Opinion for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Supplemental EIR for the County of San Benito; and other local, state and federal agency permits as needed