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As utility companies scramble to meet the state's mandate of generating 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020, developers of solar and wind energy have their eyes on San Diego County.

In January, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved issuing permits for a 341-acre solar energy project outside of Borrego Springs, despite objections from residents and environmental groups.

On June 23, Carmel-based developer Sol Orchard informed members of the Alpine Community Planning Group that the company was looking at building a 5 megawatt solar energy site in Alpine. If the project is approved, it would produce 20 percent of Alpine's total energy.

According to solar company's website, Sol Orchard is now in talks with SDG&E to bring 19 solar projects to eastern San Diego County. If all projects are approved, the 19 sites will produce 50 megawatts of power.

Some planning committee members raised concerns about a solar energy site in their community. Others asked if they would be given a break on energy rates if the project was built. Sol Orchard reps said that was up to SDG&E.

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