Map via Westlands Solar Park EIR document
Written by Frank Lopez
Westlands Solar Park (WSP), the largest permitted solar park in North America, started construction on its master-planned energy park that encompasses more than 20,000 acres in western Fresno and Kings counties.
CIM Group, which bills itself as a community-focused real estate and infrastructure developer headquartered in Los Angeles, announced in a press release that phase one of the project includes Aquamarine — a 250-megawatt solar photovoltaic project that has all entitlements and conditional use approvals to begin construction.
Once completed, WSP — which would be one of the largest permitted solar parks on Earth — could produce more than 2,700 megawatts (2.7 gigawatts) of renewable energy at full build-out that that could power more than 1.2 million homes.
CIM has also signed a power purchase agreement with Valley Clean Energy Alliance, a locally governed electricity provider for the cities of Davis and Woodland and some unincorporated areas of Yolo County, for 50 megawatts of energy capacity expected to be delivered in late 2021.
WSP has gained support from environmental communities including the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity.
The project has completed and certified a programmatic environmental impact report for the entire project, and is in one of the few areas identified by Valley Clean Energy Alliance as a Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) intended for general electric transmission planning for renewable energy facilities to major existing transmission lines/corridors.