First check of $2 Million to come into county coffers from solar company

The Centinela project will be one of the first large projects to connect with the recently built Sunrise Powerlink transmission line


(El Centro, CA) – During the member comments at the Board of Supervisors meeting, Gary Wyatt spoke on the $2 million dollar check coming to the county very soon for the Public benefits agreement from LS Power.

“It’s coming on the ag benefit side to be put in a trust fund until we  get a committee to form and make recommendations on how to spend the funds,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt reminded the room that applications for membership to those committees close Friday, September 21.

The money is available because LS Power had completed financing of its Centinela Solar Energy Project, a 170 megawatt (AC) photovoltaic solar farm, near El Centro.

The Centinela Solar Energy Project, to be constructed on more than 1,600 acres of land, will utilize solar photovoltaic technology to directly convert sunlight to electricity. The Project, to be operational in 2014, will sell its entire output to San Diego Gas & Electric pursuant to long-term power sales agreements.

LS Power has secured all major permits for the Centinela project. The project will be one of the first major projects to connect to the recently built Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Line, which will bring electricity from wind and solar resources in the Imperial Valley to San Diego.

An LS Power representative spoke about the break down on the $2 million with $1.7 million going into the agricultural trust of the Public Benefit agreements. This money will be used primarily to help those affected by the loss of farmland in their businesses.

 $313,000 goes for the Williamson Act and $32,000 will go to the Imperial County Fire Department.

Fluor Construction is the prime contractor and they are putting the final team together and plan to start grading in six weeks. They plan for the Drew Substation to be finished in May 2013, having solar power by next summer, and by April of 2014, generating 125 MW of power.