A map view of where the Westlands Solar Park will be built.
CIM Group LLC, a real estate investment firm, has reportedly commenced the construction of Westlands Solar Park (WSP), one of the largest permitted solar parks across the globe that could generate 2.7 gigawatts of renewable energy, which may offer clear energy to over 1.2 million homes.
The master-planned energy park comprises over 20,000 acres in California's Kings and Fresno Counties. It is developed to open in phases to meet the needs of private, public and other energy consumers.
Reportedly, the solar project has a certified programmatic environmental impact report for the complete project, and it is recognized as a CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) through RETI (Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative) process.
The first phase of CIM's development at Westlands Solar Park includes Aquamarine, a 250-megawatt solar photovoltaic project, which has obtained all entitlement and conditional use approvals following a full environmental impact review. CIM signed a power purchase agreement with Valley Clean Energy Alliance, a locally governed electricity provider for the California cities of Davis and Woodland and unincorporated portions of Yolo County, for 50 megawatts of capacity, with initial delivery anticipated to occur in late 2021.
Meanwhile, CIM group has inked a PPA (power purchase agreement) with Valley Clean Energy Alliance, a locally governed body offering electricity to California cities of Woodland and Davis and unincorporated areas of Yolo County, for 50MW capacity, with initial delivery expected to occur at the end of 2021.
Reports claim that Valley Clean Energy has selected Aquamarine on account of its minimum impact on environmentally protected species, prime farmland, and habitat.
At Westlands Solar Park, the CIM group is repurposing drainage-impaired and selenium-contaminated farmland for developing clean solar energy. WSP has gained strong support from environmental communities such as Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and NRDC.
CIM's clean energy projects would deliver solutions to multiple policy objectives for California's renewable energy mandate including carbon-free energy and greenhouse gas reduction.
In addition to this, it is expected that WSP will support economic advancements in Central Valley communities by enhancing the region beyond agriculture as well as create new clean energy jobs for the development of the project.