| Panoche Valley Solar Farm Project
San Benito County is the Lead Agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Panoche Valley Solar Farm project. Solargen Energy, Inc. ("Applicant") has submitted an application to San Benito County for a Conditional Use Permit to construct the proposed project, a 420 megawatt (MW) solar energy generation facility consisting of 3 to 4 million pole-mounted, silicon-based solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and associated electrical equipment, an electrical substation, and an operations and maintenance building.
The project would deliver electricity to the regional transmission system by interconnecting to the existing Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Moss-Panoche/Coburn-Panoche 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line on site. The proposed project would be considered a renewable energy generation facility, and according to the applicant would support California in meeting the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandate.
The Panoche Valley Solar Farm site is located along Little Panoche Road in the Panoche Valley, in southeastern San Benito County. The project site consists of approximately 4,885 acres currently used for livestock grazing and open space. The site is located approximately 2 miles southwest of the Fresno County Line and the Panoche Hills, and approximately 15 miles west of Interstate 5.
Final Environmental Impact Report
The Final Environmental Impact Report was released on September 30, 2010. The Notice of Availability of the Final EIR was mailed to Trustee Agencies, other federal, state, and local agencies, and interested members of the public. The Final EIR includes a complete version of the Draft EIR modified in response to comments, General Responses to comments commonly raised by multiple commenting parties, and individual responses to comments on the Draft EIR. Agencies that provided written comments on the Draft EIR received a hard copy of the Final EIR document. Hard copies of the Final EIR or the Executive Summary can be ordered and purchased from:
Hard copies of the entire contents of the EIR (excluding technical appendices) are available for persons with special needs upon request to the County Planning Department.
Hard copies of the entire contents of the EIR (excluding technical appendices) are available for review at the repository sites listed below. Note: The San Benito County Planning Department will have hard copies of the entire contents of the EIR including technical appendices available for review.
Draft Environmental Impact Report
The Draft Environmental Impact Report was released for public review on June 28, 2010. The Notice of Availability of the Draft EIR was mailed to Trustee Agencies, other federal, state, and local agencies, and interested members of the public on June 28, 2010.
Per Section 15105 of the State CEQA Guidelines, San Benito County provided for a public review period on the Draft EIR. The Draft EIR was released on June 28, 2010 and was available for public review for 60 days, ending on August 31, 2010.
Notice of Preparation and Scoping
A Notice of Preparation was mailed to Trustee Agencies, other federal, state, and local agencies, and interested members of the public on March 1, 2010. Two public scoping meetings were held on March 15 and 16 in the Panoche Valley and the City of Hollister, respectively, to provide information about the proposed project and the EIR process, to solicit public comments on the scope and content of the EIR, and to allow for public comments on the proposed project.
A Scoping Report has been prepared summarizing the scoping process and documenting the comments received on the proposed project. Approximately 67 individuals presented oral comments during the scoping meetings, and 31 comment letters were submitted during the scoping process. In addition to private individuals, six government agencies and six private organizations submitted written comments. Appendices to the scoping report present scoping meeting handout materials and comment letters received.
Questions on the EIR Process
To ask a question regarding the EIR process, contact the EIR Team as follows:
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