CalRENEW-1, the first utility-scale photovoltaic solar farm to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission under the state's renewable portfolio standard program, has received all required environmental approvals and is now shovel-ready, according to Bill Barnes, CEO of Cleantech America Inc., the project developer.
The solar farm, which could begin generating power as early as the end of 2009 and no later than April 30, 2010, will deliver five MW of electricity annually to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. under a long-term power purchase agreement.
CalRENEW-1, which will be located in Mendota, Calif., will provide air quality benefits to Fresno County while creating needed green jobs, the company notes. Job creation is particularly important in California's Central Valley region, where the jobless rate recently soared to 41%, largely due to a three-year drought.
In an effort to stimulate green jobs growth, Cleantech America Inc. is working with the city of Mendota to develop programs to re-train area residents to become solar installers. The firm has pledged $20,000 toward that effort.
SOURCE: Cleantech America Inc.