Friday, February 3, 2012 The CSAC Bulletin
Agriculture and Natural Resources

For more information, contact Karen Keene at 916.650.8181, or Cara Martinson at 916.650.8113.

Photovoltaic Solar Power Plant Siting – CEC Hearing Delayed

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has postponed its consideration of the CEC Hearing Advisor’s proposed decision affirming that Section 25502.3 of the Warren–Alquist State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Act (the Act) applies to photovoltaic electrical generating facilities. The new hearing date is Tuesday, March 28.

The CEC currently has exclusive jurisdiction to permit solar thermal power plants with a generating capacity of 50 megawatts or more (Public Resources Code section 25000 et seq.). Local permitting authority and ordinances are superseded (Public Resources Code section 25500). Conversely, the CEC has no jurisdiction over photovoltaic (PV) solar power plants because the term “thermal power plant” specifically excludes photovoltaic electrical generating facilities (Public Resources Code section 25120). To the extent a PV solar power plant is located in the unincorporated area of a county, that county has permitting jurisdiction over the power plant.

An application with the CEC is seeking to have the Commission take jurisdiction over a photovoltaic project under Section 25502.3. The application would expand State authority in a way not contemplated to the applicable statute, to the detriment of local police powers. CSAC has joined with Riverside County in submitting comments opposing the Hearing Advisor’s proposed decision. You can read our letter here.

The Hearing Advisor’s proposed decision may be viewed on the CEC website at:

CSAC Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Committee Meeting

Please save the date of Wednesday, February 15th for the next meeting of the CSAC Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Committee. The meeting will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the 1st floor conference room of the CSAC Offices, located at 1100 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95818. The Committee will be discussing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Governor’s Regional Water Quality Control Board Budget Proposal and the Farm Bill Reauthorization.