8minute Solar Energy, developer of the Aratina renewable energy project planned for the Boron and Desert Lake area of eastern Kern County, California, altered its plan after feedback from local residents. The solar + storage project has an intended generation capacity of up to 530 MWac with an up to 600 MWac battery energy storage system. Once fully deployed, Aratina will produce enough clean electricity to power 180,000 homes. The electricity generated by the Aratina Solar Center will be transmitted to utilities and community energy providers throughout California.
Plans were altered after the County’s review and feedback from local residents indicated there was concern about neighbors’ views. The company states on its website that it “listened to the concerns and have incorporated them into a revised design that increases project setbacks from residential areas by up to a half-mile (almost nine football fields)”.
The revised site design, referred to as Aratina 2.0 by Kern County, increases project setbacks from Boron and Desert Lake’s residential areas. In addition, the company believes that the raised bed railroad that runs by the location and vegetation alongside the road will reduce visibility of the project. Watch this video in which the project developer simulates project visibility.
The Aratina Solar Center site is currently undergoing a geotechnical analysis and topographical survey that will determine the soil composition subsurface and identify potential constraints, such as existing infrastructure or well heads. Workers will be accompanied by biological monitors to ensure protected habitat is not damaged during this process.
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