EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (KERO) — Utilizing the solar to energy the photo voltaic system. It seems like one thing out of this world however really, it occurred at Edwards Air Drive Base.
At present 4,600 acres are used for photo voltaic panels to harness the intense desert solar that shines above them. Simon Day, vp and head of photo voltaic growth at Terra-Gen, stated the desert is ripe for the venture.
“The place we’re within the Mojave is among the sunniest locations within the nation,” he stated. “So constructing photo voltaic here’s a win-win.”
That vivid solar can produce extra photo voltaic power at a decrease price than different places such because the north. This makes the concept of constructing one of many nation’s largest photo voltaic farms much more enticing at Edwards Air Drive Base.
“Strengthening the grid is a vital factor,” Day stated. “When you could have that a lot photo voltaic and storage in that space, the grid in that area is stabilized and there is much less likelihood of blackouts and brownouts in that space.”
Day stated the multimillion-dollar venture has already made a distinction in Japanese Kern, bringing hundreds of building jobs over the previous two years. With its lease, the venture is predicted to deliver $100 million in property tax income to the communities of Rosamond, Mojave and Lancaster.
“That is one of many explanation why Edwards Air Drive Base is supporting the venture on its land,” Day stated. “The lease income, which is able to complete greater than $75.8 million over its lifetime, will go on to Edwards Air Drive Base to proceed its base operations.”
The venture began two years in the past with the development of practically 2 million photo voltaic panels. These panels will produce 971 megawatts of power storage and 807 megawatts of photo voltaic. In complete, the photo voltaic farm will produce as much as 1,300 megawatts of photo voltaic power.
“On September 5, that evening, California skilled one of many largest and most intense warmth waves in its historical past. The California Impartial System Operator, which operates the grid, was capable of name on greater than 3,300 megawatts of power storage throughout that point,” Day defined. “The Edward Sanborn Photo voltaic Challenge, it has 971 MW of power storage itself in order that for the following 12 months it would have an enormous contribution to the steadiness of the grid within the space.”
This venture can also be constructed on miles of desert habitat for endangered Joshua bushes. Whereas the venture was accepted earlier than the species was formally granted momentary endangered standing, subsequent Environmental Affect Studies are required earlier than building begins.
In line with the Water Division’s EIP findings, whereas many impacts have been famous, any important impacts have been diminished to a “negligible degree by mitigation measures.” The report states that after reviewing residual impacts, DWR discovered that “residual unavoidable impacts of the proposed venture are an appropriate environmental price as a consequence of environmental, financial, authorized, social, technological and different venture advantages.” So a “taking allow” was granted – permitting the removing of Joshua bushes beneath a mitigation plan. A part of that plan contains offering greater than $3 million in funding for added safety of Joshua bushes.
Sanborn Photo voltaic EIR
The world for the venture additionally contains areas vital to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Tejon Indian Tribe. Each are given stakeholder engagement in initiatives.
“We’re working with the tribes to keep away from some areas which can be extra culturally delicate and vital, and decrease a number of the areas that we have to construct. So they’re the primary stakeholders in the entire course of,” stated Day. “Kern County, and likewise the Air Drive’s course of for renewables and the surroundings is a vital half by way of engaged on any vital organic work or different cultural areas.”
Day stated the venture additionally brings the state nearer to reaching its clear power objectives, serving to to offset fossil fuels along with offering power throughout emergencies to forestall rolling blackouts and brownouts. .
Edwards Air Drive Base is now on board with different communities resembling Tehachapi, which produces greater than 2,000 megawatts of wind energy by its wind farm. Day stated the power is injected into the identical substation and for the reason that wind within the space is stronger principally at evening whereas photo voltaic produces power all through the day, the 2 initiatives praise one another.