About Coyote Creek Agrivoltaic Ranch
WHAT: 200 megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) and 4 hour/100 megawatt battery energy storage system. The project will deliver affordable, renewable energy to Sacramento Municipal Utility District customers – producing enough clean energy to power roughly 44,000 homes and displacing the equivalent of roughly 205,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each year. This is the equivalent of taking over 79,000 cars off the road.
WHERE: In the eastern area of Sacramento County – along sections of Scott Road.
The project site was carefully chosen to minimize impacts to the environment while supporting the state’s renewable energy and economic goals. We selected this location after analyzing other suitable sites and using selection criteria, including:
- Avoids impacts to sensitive natural resources
- Minimizes impacts to local communities
- Minimizes environmental impacts
- Close proximity to large energy load centers
WHY: Solar energy is an abundant, sustainable source of zero-carbon electricity generation and it helps California reach its clean energy goals: By 2030, utilities will be required to procure half of their electricity from renewable sources. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)’s Clean Energy Vision includes a goal to reach zero carbon emissions by 2030, the most ambitious goal of any large utility in the country.
Good Neighbors: The Coyote Creek Agrivoltaic Ranch Team is committed to continued community and stakeholder engagement during the construction and operations of the facility. Please reach out to us with any questions or comments.
The project’s capacity is expected to be 50 megawatts (MWs) and it is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 12,000 homes per year.
Sunlight Road is expected to begin construction in mid- or late 2022 and become operational in 2023.
We expect the project’s equipment to utilize approximately 285 acres.
There are several ways the community is expected to benefit from the solar farm. During construction, we expect the project to generate approximately 200-300 construction jobs. In addition, the project is expected to require a full-time on-site operations and maintenance position. The Parish is also expected to receive income in the form of sales tax, permitting fees, increased real property taxes from change in land use, and personal property taxes from the installed solar equipment.
We plan to source workers from the Parish to the extent commercially possible.
There are several factors that influence where we build a solar farm. The location of a solar farm must be close to transmission infrastructure, such as substations and/or transmission lines, which have the capacity to add additional electricity to the grid. There are a limited number of locations which have the necessary infrastructure and capacity for additional electricity that also have usable land nearby. Solar developers generally prefer land that is cleared and relatively flat. We seek to avoid land that is environmentally sensitive, such as critical species habitats or wetlands. Although Washington Parish doesn’t have regulations surrounding solar installations, we would likely still would have been interested in developing a site in this area if the Parish had an established solar ordinance.
As part of the planning and development of all of our projects, we plan to comply with all local, state, and federal permit requirements. Examples of permits the project may be required to obtain include the following: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for wetland permitting, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for Stormwater Permit, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for access and utility crossings, Washington Parish for Special Use Permit (if established by an ordinance) and Commercial Improvements Permit.
Solar projects have a low ground coverage – the panels sit on steel piles and therefore do not use concrete pads which would cover the surface of the property. The property is therefore similar to a pasture once it has been built, with grass being the main land cover for a large percentage of the project area. We try to avoid grading where possible, leaving existing drainage patterns in place and allowing for better sediment control. During construction, we expect to use best management practices to manage stormwater, including maintaining vegetation coverage, constructing silt fences, and straw waddle lines. We must also put in place a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), which has standards and guidelines that must be followed during construction to mitigate any stormwater issues that might occur. After construction is finished, we plan to reseed the property to ensure there will be a vegetative cover underneath the solar panels, helping to reduce any erosion.
Solar panels and associated equipment do not pose a risk to public health.
The project will be designed to withstand 134mph wind speeds.
We will reseed the project area once construction is complete. Seeding the site with native grasses helps to stabilize and regenerate the topsoil for the life of the project. We also manage the grasses by mowing as needed and do not anticipate the need to use pesticides, herbicides, or sterilants.
We will hire a subcontractor who will take care of grounds maintenance during the operations of the solar facility. This person is in addition to the full-time employee who maintains the project and will be hired locally if possible.
We expect that rain will generally adequately wash the panels.
We plan to install a vegetative screen or use existing vegetation to help screen the project along neighboring residential properties and roadways.
Our leases require the removal of all facilities, including those that are underground. We will provide a removal bond to the landowner and deliver a decommissioning plan from a construction company for the removal of facilities at the end of the project’s operational life.
Yes – the solar project has a limited long term impact to the land since the ground coverage is low with steel piles being the main component in contact with the ground. Grasses planted after construction help keep the soil stabilized and prevent erosion. After decommissioning, the site will be reseeded again.
D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) is a leading renewable energy developer, owner, and operator.
DESRI works with local partners to develop solar projects in close coordination with our home communities. DESRI has a history of collaborating with local partners and landowners to respond to their individual concerns.
In conjunction with industry and academic experts, DESRI will utilize construction and management techniques that help reduce environmental impact, as well as improve and maintain soil health.
Design and procurement strategies focus on using advanced solar panel and racking technologies to help maximize production and minimize project footprint.
Rancho Seco Solar II, Sacramento County
Rancho Seco Solar II, Sacramento County