Aratina Solar Farm Project proposed in Boron

map showing the 5 area sites for the Aratina Solar Farm project including the Holgate Substation on Borax Road just outside Rio-Tinto Borates Boron Operations.

  BORON – The Kern County Planning and Resources Department sent a letter of proposal dated Aug. 14th to several property owners in Boron letting them know that an EIR (Environmental Impact Report) is necessary for a proposed solar farm south of Boron. The purpose of the letter is to notify surrounding property owners within 1,000 feet of the proposed project of the EIR determination. A copy of the Initial Study and Notice of Preparation can be found on the Kern County Planning and Resources Department website.

  The proposed project is located in the unincorporated area of Kern County straddling State Route (SR) 58 between Gephart Road on the west and the San Bernardino County Line on the east and is in the vicinity of the unincorporated communities of Boron, Desert Lake and north of the Edwards Air Force Base boundary; the existing Rio-Tinto Borates Boron Operations open pit mine is approximately 2 miles north of the project site.

 The Aratina Solar Farm Project would develop a photovoltaic solar facility and associated infrastructure necessary to generate up to 600 megawatt-alternating current of renewable energy including up to 600 megawatts of energy storage on approximately 2,672.53 acres of privately owned land and consists of 5 sites located on 27 different parcels. The project would be supported by a 230 kilovolt gen-tie overhead and/or underground electrical transmission lines originating from one or more on-site substations and ending at the Southern California Edison (SCE) Holgate Substation to the north; alternatively, the project may interconnect at the SCE Kramer Substation located in San Bernardino County via a transmission line located within an Edwards Air Force Base utility corridor. The projects permanent facilities would include service roads, power collection systems, communication cables, overhead/underground transmission lines, electrical switchyards, project substations, inverter stations, energy (battery) storage systems and operations/maintenance facilities.

  Implementation of the project as proposed would require changes in zone classifications, conditional use permits to allow for the construction and operation of the 5 solar facilities with a total generating capacity of approximately 600 megawatts/alternating current of renewable energy – Site 1: up to 85 megawatts, Site 2: up to 210 megawatts, Site 3: up to 145 megawatts, Site 4: up to 100 megawatts and Site 5: up to 60 megawatts and general plan amendments to the circulation element of the Kern County General Plan to remove future road reservations on the section and mid-section lines within the project boundaries.

  All interested parties are invited to a virtual scoping meeting via online (due to the current COVID-19 mandates) which is scheduled for Sept. 4th at 1:30 p.m. and comments on the proposed project must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 14th; comments on the scope meeting and content of the NOP should be sent to CandiaR@kerncounty.com; should anyone have any questions concerning the project, they can contact Ronelle Candia who is the Supervising Planner in the Advanced Planning Division at 661.862.8997 or at the email address above.

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