California water district moving forward with plans for 2,400 MW solar power project

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The Westlands Water District is partnering with Westside Holdings LLC to prepare a detailed environmental impact report and master plan for a proposed 2,400 MW solar power project, according to a report from the Fresno Bee.

The environmental impact report would allow private solar companies to build individual power generation projects on farmland the district has earmarked for retirement because of poor drainage and high levels of salt in the groundwater and soil, according to the Bee. Westside Holdings CEO Bob Dowds said plans to develop solar projects on drainage-impaired farmland have been in the work for several years, and the California Energy Commission has already identified the site as a Commercial Renewable Energy Zone.

According to the report, a notice filed by Westlands indicates development would be planned in 200 MW increments over 12 years, which would make the 24,000 acre project the largest solar photovoltaic installation in the U.S. if fully developed.

Dowds said development of the project would only begin when there is sufficient demand for the project to make economic sense, the Bee reported.

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