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Solar farm to sprout along North Main Street
4.2 megawatt project proposed
Representatives with a Spanish-owned renewable energy firm met with city officials Wednesday afternoon to discuss the installation of a solar farm on the west side of North Main Street, between North Grand and Linda Vista avenues.
The project applicants and local engineer James Winton presented the proposal to the city’s Project Review Committee as part of the process to bring in a 4.2 megawatt solar power plant to the area.
“This is a solar photovoltaic-energy project,” said David Ubeda, lead solar engineer with ImModo Solar, “It’s a plant that has a peak output of 4.2 megawatts...we’re talking about some 15,000 photovoltaic modules.”
Porterville community development director Brad Dunlap said that two-thirds of the proposed project (15 to 20 acres) lay within city limits and the remaining 10 or so acres within county limits.
An annexation would be required if ImModo wants to develop the land, Dunlap said.
The applicant will need to address some of the comments made by city staff Wednesday, including the development of curbs and gutters along North Main Street, keeping the site fenced and screened from public view and improving parking along Linda Vista Avenue.
While Wednesday’s meeting was for the committee to study and evaluate the proposed project, Ubeda said there is a “99 percent probability this will get done.”
“We are at a very advanced phase were we have already obtained all of the interconnection permits with the utility company and we have only to solve this issue with the city. As soon as we resolve the building permit process we will begin to work — this can happen by the end of next year,” Ubeda said.
Ubeda said ImModo Solar plans to develop 12 solar plants in Tulare County, generating between 40 to 45 megawatts, within the next year and a half.
He said the company was mainly attracted to the area because “it’s a county that facilitates this process of bringing in solar energy plants.”
“We became aware of this through lots of research and by spending a lot of time searching for a location that suited our needs,” he said.
Dunlap said the applicants will next have to revise their plans and submit them for building permits. The city will review the plans and provide comments accordingly within two weeks.
If the city has no further comments, ImModo will be clear to break ground if it annexes the required land into the city.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, Ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.