Meeting the energy needs of Southern California

Key Facts

 

Summary

  • 287 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) electric power generating facility

Technology/interconnection

  • Flat plate panels using proven PV technology
  • Power will be delivered to existing, adjacent 500 kilovolt transmission line

Location/site

  • Alluvial valley between North and South Soda Mountains in Mojave Desert
  • 7 miles southwest of Baker, California along interstate I-15
  • Federally-owned land managed by Bureau of Land Management
  • Project will occupy 1767 acres within the 10 square mile valley

Favorable attributes of site for solar power generation

  • Annual sunlight hours among very highest in US
  • Flat terrain
  • Minimal vegetation
  • Not in wilderness area, desert wildlife management area or other restricted area
  • Adjacent to two electric transmission lines; no new transmission lines needed
  • Vehicular access to major highway via two existing interchanges and to existing BLM open access roads

Existing disturbances in valley

  • Highway: Interstate I-15—major, four-lane highway with two interchanges; remains of Arrowhead Highway
  • Service station: with mini-mart and residences for employees at Rasor Rd interchange
  • Electric transmission lines: two high voltage electric transmission lines; one distribution line
  • Pipeline: two fuel pipelines
  • Other: two fiber optic cables; three cellphone towers
  • Roads: Rasor Rd and multiple access roads  for above infrastructure
  • OHV: a portion of the  Rasor Off Highway Vehicle Area is in the valley

Planned/possible additional infrastructure

  • Section 368 Energy Corridor: valley has been designated as a preferred route for future pipelines and electric transmission lines
  • Rail:  XpressWest railroad will pass through the valley

Environmental attributes

  • Compared to the sites which have been approved for other solar projects and the areas designated as Solar Energy Zones, the site is almost unique with respect to the non-existence of endangered species, rare or special-status plants and significant cultural resources with the exception that one desert tortoise was found on the project site

Economic impacts

  • Construction jobs: Average >200 workers, 300 at peak with average total annual compensation $62,500
  • Operating jobs: 25-40 workers; average total annual compensation $84,000
  • Regional economic impact: $756 million during construction; $10 million/yr during operations

Federal approval

  • Department of Interior approved project in March 2016

Schedule

  • Construction expected to start in 2018

 

What They’re Saying…

“On behalf of CG/LA Infrastructure, it is my pleasure to inform you that the Soda Mountain Solar Project has been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Strategic 100 North American Infrastructure Project Report! The Strategic 100 report and final selection is the culmination of a 6-month analytic process, beginning with a preliminary list of over 800 projects.”

Norman F. Anderson

President & CEO
CG/LA Infrastructure Inc.

“Soda Mountain represents a significant investment in San Bernardino County, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and will be built in an area where jobs and investment are scarce…. Surely the best place to put new infrastructure is next to existing infrastructure—this keeps it out of the wilderness areas that desert conservationists want to protect.”

Gaither Loewenstein

Economic and Planning Director, City of Barstow