EL CENTRO â€“ Â Supervisor Jack Terrazas spoke on the recent Southern California Association of Government (SCAG) meeting in Los Angeles. To the roomâ€™s amazement, he relayed SCAGâ€™s prognosis that the County of Imperial is forecasted to be the first to come out of this recession.
This was big news at the recent economic summit held by the Southern California Association of Governments in Los Angeles attended by Imperial County Board of supervisor Jack Terrazas.
“Iâ€™m sure theyâ€™re looking at different economic situations but one of them of course is the renewable energy and the production of renewable energy products,” Terrazas said.
Among the factors is another solar project introduced in El Centro by Grupo T Solar.
“Those are seen as something that is definitely moving forward that is a positive impact on the economy,” Terrazas said.
Historically, the Imperial County has the highest unemployment rate in the state with a majority of the population working in the farm fields where jobs are seasonal.
The renewable energy industry has created hundreds of jobs and will in the short term continue to generate hundreds more.
There is also talk that the state may change the portfolio standards on utility companies.
“Which means it would go up from 33% that is required right now and the talk is that it may go up to 50% which would drive more solar and more geothermal production in Imperial County,” Terrazas said.
Which equates to more jobs for the county and adding to the image of the valley as the heart of renewable energy.
“People are accepting that because the numbers are showing. Weâ€™re the highest producer of solar products. Weâ€™re the second highest producer of wind product. I mean itâ€™s just, weâ€™re the second highest in geothermal,” Terrazas said.
Thirteen more renewable projects are scheduled to be in line for next year.