TomaTek Solar Microgrid Project


SCH Number
Lead Agency
Energy Commission (California Energy Commission)
Document Title
TomaTek Solar Microgrid Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Project Applicant
The Neil Jones Food Company

Document Description
The purpose of this project is to design, install and operate a microgrid system to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, ensure reliability, and reduce operating costs at the TomaTek Processing Facility located in the City of Firebaugh. The project will occur within the existing developed area of an existing tomato processing facility. The microgrid system consists of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system with integrated battery energy storage system (BESS) and microgrid controller. The approximately 6.5 megawatt solar PV system will be roof mounted on three existing buildings, which is estimated to produce the equivalent to a 55 percent offset of the facility’s current electricity usage. The solar PV system will be used to offset daily electricity usage at the facility as well as charge the onsite BESS. The BESS and microgrid controller will enable the facility to operate essential components in case of power outage for at least four hours, which will increase the overall GHG emission efficiency of the facility by significantly reducing wasted product that typically occurs during unplanned power outages. Installation of the microgrid system will require minor foundation and electrical work, including five small concrete pads at existing paved areas and approximately 2,800 linear feet of two-foot-wide trench. The project will take place entirely within the existing facility boundary and all materials will be installed outdoors. The City of Firebaugh, acting as the lead agency, reviewed the project and determined it does not require approval of a discretionary permit by their local agency. On January 29, 2020 the City filed a notice of exemption pursuant to California Code of Regulations, title 14, section 15268 with the Fresno County Clerk.

Contact Information
Cyrus Ghandi
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-48
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone : (916) 327-1506



Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
§ 15301 and 15304
Reasons for Exemption
This project will involve the installation of solar energy systems on the roofs of three existing buildings and pursuant to Public Resources Code section 21080.35 is exempt from CEQA. The installation of the solar photovoltaic panels will enable the generation of energy for onsite use at an existing tomato processing facility in the City of Firebaugh. Associated equipment will not occupy more than 500 square feet of ground surface and will be located on the same or immediately adjacent parcel as the solar panels. The project does not involve a federal Clean Water Act permit; streambed alteration permit; or removal of specific required or native trees. For the reasons, this project is statutorily exempt from CEQA under Pub. Res. Code § 21080.35. This project will involve the installation of a ground mounted BESS and microgrid controller within the fully developed property of an existing tomato processing facility in the City of Firebaugh. The project has been deemed an allowed modification to the existing food production facility use by the City of Firebaugh and does not require a local discretionary permit. The microgrid system installation will be a minor alteration to existing paved areas within the interior of the property, with no expansion beyond the existing tomato processing operation and will not have a significant adverse effect on the environment. The project will not result in a significant cumulative impact, damage resources within a scenic highway, cause substantial adverse change to the significance of a historical resource, or be located on a listed hazardous waste site. Therefore, the project falls under the categorical exemption listed in California Code of Regulations, title 14, section 15301. See NOE for full details.


Notice of Exemption
2020040157_TomaTek Solar   PDF 182 K

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