Renewable Properties, a developer and investor of small-scale utility and community solar energy projects throughout the U.S., begins construction on the Silveira Ranch Solar Project, the largest community solar array in Marin County to date, after months of development, planning and preparation.
Renewable Properties developed the utility-scale solar project to supply Marin Clean Energy (MCE), California’s first Community Choice Aggregation Program, with 3 MWac of in-service area solar electricity. This is the firm’s first project in Marin County, and third overall developed for MCE to deliver clean, locally-produced electricity to its customers through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
“Climate change is a global problem requiring creative local solutions like the collaborative effort behind this solar installation,” said Aaron Halimi, President of Renewable Properties. “We appreciate the opportunity to continue our work with MCE to supply affordable, locally sourced solar energy to its customers throughout the North Bay, and are especially grateful to the local landowners for making it all possible by leasing us a portion of their cattle ranch to house this project.”
The community-scale solar array will occupy 11 acres of a larger 41-acre site privately owned by a local cattle ranching family. Portions of the site will continue to be grazed by cattle to meet county requirements for the project to include continued on-site agricultural use.
“We’re grateful to have partners like Renewable Properties we can work with on energy infrastructure projects that lower our carbon footprint,” said Kate Sears, Marin County Third District Supervisor and Board Chair of MCE. “Knowing the concerns around COVID-19 and the economy, these solar projects will not only provide necessary upgrades to our aging grid infrastructure and reduce our dependence on traditional energy sources, but also keep local crews employed in outdoor physically-distanced working conditions when unemployment rates are climbing.”
“The Silveira Ranch solar project is a continuation of MCE’s mission to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions with renewable energy at cost-competitive rates,” said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “We are grateful to work again with the team at Renewable Properties, who have been excellent partners on several other local projects. Successful partnerships like this allow MCE to further our workforce development efforts with local, fair-wage jobs while increasing the amount of local renewable energy available to our customers.”
Using a fixed tilt racking technology and more than 8,604 bifacial solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, the installation will produce enough clean electricity to power 800 single-family homes in Marin County annually. This is equivalent to avoiding more than 4,723 metric tons of CO₂ emissions annually which is similar to the volume of greenhouse gases emitted from 1,020 passenger vehicles driven over the course of one year1.
Like the recently announced Soscol Ferry Road Solar Project in neighboring Napa County, Silveira Ranch Solar is the first community-scale solar installation in Marin County to include a pollinator plant meadow; the result of a collaboration with San Francisco-based Pollinator Partnership, the world’s largest nonprofit devoted solely to the health of all pollinators.