The Project would install a new remote solar micro-grid, referred to as a standalone power system (SPS), at the Whitaker’s Forest Research Station within Whitaker’s Forest. Whitaker’s Forest is owned and managed by UC Berkeley and surrounded by public forest land in Tulare County, California. Once installed, the Project would provide existing residential structures on-site with a consistent and reliable source of electricity that would replace the need for the existing overhead electric distribution lines. PG&E will be responsible for operation and maintenance of the facility. The Project consists of a 12-panel solar array mounted on the roof of a new shipping container. Supporting infrastructure includes battery storage, a new driveway, and a new underground conduit between the solar array and residential structures. The Project is part of PG&E’s Remote Grids Pilot Program, a program within PG&E’s Community Wildfire Safety Program.
The Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) analyzed the potential environmental effects of implementation of the Project with regard to the following environmental topic areas: Aesthetics; Agriculture/Forestry Resources; Air Quality; Biological Resources; Cultural Resources; Energy; Geology and Soils; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Hazards and Hazardous Materials; Hydrology and Water Quality; Land Use and Planning; Mineral Resources; Noise; Population and Housing; Public Services; Recreation; Transportation; Tribal and Cultural Resources; Utilities and Service Systems; Wildfire; Mandatory Findings of Significance. Based on the analysis in the MND, it was determined that, for all resource areas, the Project would not result in any significant environmental effects that cannot be mitigated to less than significant levels.