Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
California Valley Solar Ranch, almost ready for prime time

Clean Power

California Solar Farms Bring Home-Grown Solar Power (Exclusive Photos & Video)

Sure, we’ve all heard about the skyrocketing growth of PV solar power in the state. We’ve reported it here, and on planetsave. But to see it happening is something else entirely. Riding from Los Angeles to Monterey to cover eRoadRacing for Gas2, I discovered California Valley is in the process of becoming a massive source of energy for the state. The valley has been largely uninhabitable for decades, thanks to excessive nitrates in the groundwater from all the cattle farming nearby. Here I stop and ask the only questions they’re allowed to answer about Topaz Farms.

California Valley Solar Ranch, almost ready for prime time

California Valley Solar Ranch, almost ready for prime time.
Credit: Susanna Schick / CleanTechnica

Sure, we’ve all heard about the skyrocketing growth of solar PV growth in California, including some super large California solar farms. We’ve reported on it here, and on Planetsave. But to see it happening is something else entirely. Riding from Los Angeles to Monterey to cover eRoadRacing for Gas2, I discovered California Valley is in the process of becoming a massive source of energy for the state. The valley has been largely uninhabitable for decades, thanks to excessive nitrates in the groundwater from all the factory cattle farming nearby. Here I stop and ask the only questions they’re allowed to answer about Topaz Farms:

That’s 9 MILLION panels, enough to power about 160,000 homes. The 550 megawatts of power they will generate will go directly to PG&E’s nearby substation. Just down the road, California Valley Solar Ranch is almost completed, and will bring 250 MW onto the grid.

Meet me at the corner of Helios & 58, then tell me again how my EV is powered by coal.

Meet me at the corner of Helios & 58, then tell me again how my EV is powered by coal.
Credit: Susanna Schick / CleanTechnica

What’s really neat is to drive up 33/166 from Ojai, turn left at the old 76 station, and check out Soda Lake, then the actual ghost town of California Valley. There are a few hardy souls still living there, despite the tainted groundwater. But if you’re riding/driving a gas-powered vehicle, be sure you’ve got enough fuel to get to Paso Robles, as that 76 hasn’t pumped gas in decades.

More about California Valley from the California Valley Solar Ranch website:

Making Use of SLO Sunshine

  • With an average of 315 sunny days a year, California Valley is considered one of the best sites for solar in the entire state of California.
  • At an elevation near 2,100 feet, the Valley’s protection from fog boosts the sun’s intensity.
  • The flat topography of the Carissa Plain is an ideal home for the Solar Ranch.

Responsible Land Use

  • This area of the Carrizo Plain was retired from agricultural use 30 years ago due to lack of water.
  • Located several miles outside the Carrizo Plains National Monument, the Solar Ranch will allow for the sustainable development of clean, renewable energy.
  • The California Valley Solar Ranch will connect to the existing PG&E Morro Bay-Midway transmission line located just a few miles north.
  • As a result of CVSR, more than 12,000 acres will be preserved in perpetuity, contributing to a larger conservation and connectivity strategy for the Carrizo Plain.
 
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
 

Written By

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. Which is why she's now based in Barcelona, Spain and happy to live in a city moving rapidly toward complete freedom from cars. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, urban mobility, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

A new type of autonomous electric train is on track to electrify the US freight rail network and push diesel trucks off the highways,...

Batteries

Extreme weather events, cybersecurity threats and volatility in energy markets at all levels puts intense strain on America’s power grid. Virtual power plants (VPP)...

Clean Power

Big news for clean air last week. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) adopted amendments requiring the elimination of nitrogen oxide (NOx)...

Cars

Lucid Motors is revolutionizing the electric vehicle (EV) industry with its luxury electric cars. Lucid has reimagined the driving experience to create an unparalleled...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.

Advertisement