Governor Brown Certifies Solar Project Under 2011 CEQA Reforms


SACRAMENTO – Taking action to cut red tape, create new jobs and generate clean energy, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has certified a second project for fast-tracked judicial and legislative review under the terms of his 2011 CEQA reforms.

The McCoy Solar Project, a billion-dollar renewable solar facility that will be located in Riverside County, is now eligible for expedited review under the Jobs and Economic Improvement Act of 2011 (AB 900). AB 900, signed by Governor Brown in September 2011, sends CEQA litigation for certain large projects directly to the Court of Appeal and requires that decisions on the merits are made in a short timeframe.

Governor Brown certified the first project, Apple’s new Cupertino campus, for AB 900 streamlining in June 2012. AB 900 projects are not exempt from CEQA review.

The McCoy Solar Project will generate approximately 341 well-paid construction, supervisory, support and management jobs over the project’s 46-month construction, and additional operational jobs once completed. Under the terms of the Governor’s certification, McCoy will invest a minimum of $100 million in California during construction. The California Air Resources Board has certified that the project will not generate any additional greenhouse gas emissions during construction.

The project will generate up to 750 megawatts of photovoltaic solar power, enough electricity to power approximately 264,000 residences. It will be sited on 4,315 acres of federal land, 477 acres of private land and include a 15.5 mile long transmission line right-of-way.

In January 2012, Governor Brown signed an agreement with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to expand a state and federal partnership to create more renewable power projects in California.

In April 2011, Governor Brown signed legislation requiring one-third of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources. The legislation increased California’s 20 percent renewables portfolio standard target in 2010 to a 33 percent renewables portfolio standard by December 31, 2020.

The text of the McCoy certification can be found here.