CIM Group says it is advancing the development of Westlands Solar Park (WSP), one of the largest permitted solar parks in the world that could produce more than 2,700 MW of renewable energy potential at full buildout.
The energy park encompasses more than 20,000 acres in California’s San Joaquin Valley in western Fresno and Kings Counties and is designed to open in phases to meet the needs of public and private utilities and other energy consumers. WSP has a completed and certified programmatic environmental impact report for the entire project and WSP is one of the few renewable energy zones identified as a Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) through the Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI) process.
The first phase of CIM’s development at Westlands Solar Park includes Aquamarine, a 250-MW solar photovoltaic project, which has obtained all entitlement and conditional use approvals following a full environmental impact review. CIM signed a power purchase agreement with Valley Clean Energy Alliance, a locally governed electricity provider for the California cities of Davis and Woodland and unincorporated portions of Yolo County, for 50 MW of capacity, with initial delivery anticipated to occur in late 2021.
At Westlands Solar Park CIM is repurposing selenium-contaminated and drainage-impaired farmland for the development of clean energy. WSP has garnered strong support from environmental communities including the Sierra Club, NRDC, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity.
CIM’s clean energy projects will provide solutions to multiple policy objectives for the state of California’s renewable energy mandate including greenhouse gas reduction and carbon-free energy. Additionally, it is expected that WSP will contribute to economic development in Central Valley communities by diversifying the region beyond agriculture and create a substantial number of clean energy jobs over the development of the entire project.
Since its inception in 1994, CIM has focused on investing in real estate and infrastructure projects located in or serving densely populated communities throughout the U.S. WSP, located in a designated Opportunity Zone as defined under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is an example of CIM’s commitment to investing in sustainable assets across communities as well as investing in Opportunity Zones.
Photo: Westlands Solar Park vicinity map