The Country Acres Solar Project includes construction and operation of a PV solar power and battery storage facility and interconnection facilities, including a generation substation, switch station, and interconnection lines, that would provide new power production capacity of up to 344 MW delivered at the point of interconnection with the electrical grid managed by SMUD. The project site would generally be comprised of PV solar modules, foundation piles, racking, direct current (DC) collection, alternative current (AC) collection, fencing, roads, inverters, medium voltage transformers, an interconnection line between the generation substation and switch station, battery storage equipment, and interconnection lines to the existing SMUD transmission system. At the end of the project’s life (anticipated to be 30 to 35 years), the project and its assets would be decommissioned; however, SMUD may retain the substation, switching station, and battery storage facilities.
Primary access to the project site during construction and operation would be provided by existing, or newly constructed, paved, graveled, or dirt roads and/or driveways extending to the project site from Baseline Road, South Brewer Road, and Phillip Road. Within the solar field and interconnection facility areas, limited grading may be used to prepare the site for post and PV modules installation. Grading would be minimized to the extent feasible within the solar array and would be consistent with the setback requirements. Grading will likely be required for the proposed battery energy storage system (BESS) yard, generation substation, and switching station.
The duration of construction is anticipated to last between 18 months and 2 years. The construction workforce (with an expected average of 177 and a peak of 650 construction workers) is expected to arrive at the project site between approximately 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. and leave the site between approximately 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday for most of the project construction period. Materials would generally be delivered outside of the peak morning and afternoon traffic hours to the extent feasible and would be delivered to the designated receiving area.
The SMUD Board of Directors considered and approved the Final Environmental Impact Report, Mitigation, Monitoring, and Reporting Plan, and adopted the CEQA Findings and Statement of Overriding Considerations for the project on April 20, 2023. Following environmental permitting, construction is expected to begin in late 2023. SMUD anticipates the project would become operational in 2025.