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The Imperial Country Planning Department has withdrawn the permit for a 50MW solar project after 8minutenergy Renewables submitted a request to revoke approval for its 50 MW Calipatria Solar Farm II project, the Imperial Valley Press revealed.
The project was due to be built on 560 acres of private farmland in Calipatria, Calfornia. However, IVP noted that there have been growing concerns about the environmental impact of solar development on farmland which could also encourage the displacement of agricultural jobs. The project, which was originally approved by the county’s board of supervisors in November 2011, has been involved in a lawsuit since December. According to the news site, the request was submitted as a result of a settlement agreement with environmental activists who opposed the development of solar projects on farmland.
Following the withdrawal of the permit, 8minutenergy Renewables, a developer of utility-scale solar PV projects, will conduct an environmental report which could take up to a year to complete. Andy Horne, deputy county executive officer for natural resources was cited as saying that the initial approval had been given based on a study which identifies potential impacts to the area and establishes a mitigation plan. However, the new environmental report is expected to provide a more intensive study.