Reasons for Exemption
This project will involve the installation of a solar PV carport system, within an existing parking lot. The PV system installation includes steel carport structures on new concrete pilings and electrical conduit to connect the system to the 12 kV microgrid loop. All solar PV panels will have an antiglare coating that maximizes light absorption and minimizes glare. Any potential glare from the operation of the solar PV system will be minimal. Equipment associated with each solar PV array will not occupy more than 500 square feet of ground surface and will be located on the same parcels as the solar panels (APNs 406-051-13-00 and 406-070-10-00). The project does not involve offsite federal Clean Water Act permit; waste discharge requirements pursuant to the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act; incidental take permit for species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act or the California Endangered Species Act; streambed alteration permit pursuant to the California Fish and Game Code; or removal of protected or native plants and trees. For these reasons, the PV portion of the project is statutorily exempt from CEQA under Public Resources Code, section 21080.35, provided for installation of a solar energy system on the roof of an existing building or at an existing parking lot.
The project will install and operate a microgrid system combining a solar PV system and VRFB and ZHC LDES within previously disturbed areas at the Viejas Indian Reservation Business Enterprises facility. The microgrid system installation will be a minor alteration to an existing facility within the interior of the Viejas Indian Reservation with no expansion beyond the reservation operation. Vehicle trips associated with the construction of the project will be temporary and the operation of the microgrid system will result in a negligible number of regular operational trips for maintenance. BMPs will be used during installation and operation of the micro grid system. Therefore, no adverse effects to off-site air or water quality will occur as a result of the project. The installation and operation of the microgrid system would not substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of off-reservation visual resources, as the system components are not visually obtrusive. The project will not have a significant adverse effect on the off-reservation environment due to unusual circumstances, result in a significant cumulative impact, damage resources within a designated state scenic highway, cause a substantial adverse change to the significance of a historical resource, or be located on a listed hazardous waste site. For these reasons, the project is categorically exempt from CEQA under California Code of Regulations, title 14, section 15301, as a minor alteration of existing facility, involving no expansion of the existing use.