FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — The city of Fresno is partnering with Fresno Community Solar Developers LLC to build Fresno’s first solar farm.
“This is exactly the kind of project that is used across the country as an example of what a green economy can look like,” said Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias.
The solar farm will be located on 158 acres of city-owned land near Jensen and Polk avenues, pending final approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
“We have successfully attracted the support of PG&E, and we expect that the California Public Utilities Commission will follow through and also support the project, making it completely operational within a year,” said Arias.
The construction of the solar farm and the next 40 years of operation is funded by $20 million of private investment money.
Arias said the plan is one year in the making, and will benefit the city in multiple ways, like reducing pollution and providing 20 years of energy savings for local families with eligible incomes.
“It is expected to be part of the Disadvantaged Community Green Tariff Program. That simply means that people that live in this area, there will be hundreds of people, who are able to save 20% on their energy bill,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer. “Every year, over a million dollars passed on to people who live in many of these disadvantaged neighborhoods.”
Arias said the solar farm will also bring much-needed job opportunities to the city of Fresno.
“We’re also purposely and intentionally going to recruit and train 50 residents in west Fresno to build the solar farm, operate the solar farm,” said Arias, “which will give them the skill set to go to other green economy jobs in the area.”