Settlement reached in Panoche Valley Solar Project

A settlement agreement was reached to reduce the size of the Panoche Valley Solar Project that will conserve important grassland habitat for rare and endangered species as well as advance renewable energy and create local jobs.

Mountain Plover in Panoche Valley Marcel Holyoak
Mountain Plover in Panoche Valley Photo: Marcel Holyoak (Creative Commons)

Environmental Groups (including Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, The Sierra Club, and Defenders of Wildlife), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and Panoche Valley Solar LLC (a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Development, Inc.) reached a settlement on July 21, 2017 to reduce the size of the solar project currently under development in California’s Panoche Valley to 1,300 acres from 5,000. The agreement will help advance renewable energy in the state, create local jobs, and protect the environment. Once final, the settlement will permanently conserve more than 26,000 acres for wildlife habitat.

This settlement spares intact grasslands in the San Joaquin Valley that are designated as an Important Bird Area of global significance by National Audubon Society and Bird Life International for the essential habitat these grasslands provide for resident and migratory bird species, including wintering Mountain Plovers. These grasslands are also home to many rare and endangered species including the giant kangaroo rat, the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, and the San Joaquin kit fox.

Read the full press release here.

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