The Panoche Valley Solar Farm consist of the construction and operation and operation of a 399 Megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar facility; referred to as "Alternative A Revised" (the "Project) by Solargen Energy Inc. ("Solargen"). The Project would be constructed within a fenced 3,202 acre area of an approximately 4,885-acre project site and would include development of the following components on 2,256 acres (less than 50% of project-site): (1) installation of approximately 3 million to 4 million PV panels, (2) PV module steel support structures, (3) electrical inverters and transformers, (4) an electrical substation with switchyard, (5) buried electrical collection conduit, an operations and maintenance (O&M) building, (6) a septic system and leach, (7) a wastewater treatment facility and demineralization pond, (8) on-site access roads, (9) security fencing, (10) transmission support towers and line(s) to interconnect with a PG&E transmission line that passes through the project site, and (11) possible upgrades to PG&S's transmission system.
In order to implement the Project, Solargen required several discretionary approvals from the County. The first discretionary approval and commitment to the project occurred on October 12, 2010 when the San Benito County Board of Supervisors ("Board") certified the Final EIR for the project and approved cancellation of Williamson Act contracts to implement the project. On October 20, 2010, the San Benito County Planning Commission approved Use Permit No. 1023-09 to construct and operate Alternative A Revised and recommended approval of a Development Agreement to the Board of Supervisors. The Development Agreement provides Solargen with a vested right to develop the Project in exchange for providing specified economic benefits to the County, which are summarized in the Board Agenda Report, dated November 10, 2010 and incorporated herein by reference. The Planning Commission's approval was appealed to the Board who considered the appeal along with the Development Agreement at a special meeting on November 10, 2011.