Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Backcountry buffoonery or super solar future?

Majority of county supervisors approve of deal with Soitec

Slick site, controversial company
Slick site, controversial company

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to re-affirm their environmental approval for two huge solar-power generating installations in East County, even though there seem to be questions about the company that won the approval.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who cast the dissenting vote, said that the benefits to the county promised by Soitec to make the project worthwhile have mostly disappeared.

"There are no more great jobs, no more locally manufactured goods, no more taxes and no more economic benefits," Jacob said. "These findings [in the report] no longer exist. The project can no longer live up to its promises."

The other four supervisors (Greg Cox, Dave Roberts, Ron Roberts, and Bill Horn) re-affirmed their support, saying that the source of power — especially clean power — is necessary and is required by the state.

Ron Roberts

"We will not get there with rooftop solar," Ron Roberts said. "I supported it earlier, I support it today, I will support it if it comes back."

Donna Tisdale

Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group and cofounder of Backcountry Against Dumps, said the proposal may yet be subjected to another vote.

"We're fully prepared to go back to court to protect our community resources and quality of life," Tisdale said.

In February, the supervisors approved the final environmental impact report. After that, Soitec added battery-storage trailers that weren't considered in the report. When Tisdale's group sued over the report, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled that the report was invalid because of the omission — the only thing that he found invalid in the report.

Soitec removed the battery trailers from its plans — a 765-acre panel farm called Rugged Solar projected to generate 80 megawatts (enough for 26,000 homes) and the 420-acre Tierra del Sol project adjacent to the border that should generate 60 megawatts. So, the board of supervisors had to again affirm the revised report. But since February, Soitec's future has changed considerably.

San Diego Gas & Electric has cut its business ties to Soitec over missed deadlines and project milestones — as have other companies. In January, Soitec laid off 100 workers at its Rancho Bernardo photovoltaic panel plant. By May, the company had announced to the world that it was getting out of solar and returning to its electronics roots. The company tried to sell its solar division but the deal fell through in August.

In September, the French company sold the Rancho Bernardo plant for $30 million, Jacob said — and pointed out that the company got $25 million to build it from the U.S. Department of Energy. And, she noted, there have been questions about whether Soitec had bailed out of the smaller, Tierra del Sol project.

Ryan Waterman, Soitec's lawyer, told the board that both projects are still on track — especially since the state has increased requirements to use clean energy.

"It has has become a more viable project," Waterman said. "Soitec continues to look to sell the two projects as we always did as a manufacturer."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Protestors accuse Trump Boat Parade of trading in racist stereotypes

White Suprema-sea?
Slick site, controversial company
Slick site, controversial company

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to re-affirm their environmental approval for two huge solar-power generating installations in East County, even though there seem to be questions about the company that won the approval.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who cast the dissenting vote, said that the benefits to the county promised by Soitec to make the project worthwhile have mostly disappeared.

"There are no more great jobs, no more locally manufactured goods, no more taxes and no more economic benefits," Jacob said. "These findings [in the report] no longer exist. The project can no longer live up to its promises."

The other four supervisors (Greg Cox, Dave Roberts, Ron Roberts, and Bill Horn) re-affirmed their support, saying that the source of power — especially clean power — is necessary and is required by the state.

Ron Roberts

"We will not get there with rooftop solar," Ron Roberts said. "I supported it earlier, I support it today, I will support it if it comes back."

Donna Tisdale

Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group and cofounder of Backcountry Against Dumps, said the proposal may yet be subjected to another vote.

"We're fully prepared to go back to court to protect our community resources and quality of life," Tisdale said.

In February, the supervisors approved the final environmental impact report. After that, Soitec added battery-storage trailers that weren't considered in the report. When Tisdale's group sued over the report, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled that the report was invalid because of the omission — the only thing that he found invalid in the report.

Soitec removed the battery trailers from its plans — a 765-acre panel farm called Rugged Solar projected to generate 80 megawatts (enough for 26,000 homes) and the 420-acre Tierra del Sol project adjacent to the border that should generate 60 megawatts. So, the board of supervisors had to again affirm the revised report. But since February, Soitec's future has changed considerably.

San Diego Gas & Electric has cut its business ties to Soitec over missed deadlines and project milestones — as have other companies. In January, Soitec laid off 100 workers at its Rancho Bernardo photovoltaic panel plant. By May, the company had announced to the world that it was getting out of solar and returning to its electronics roots. The company tried to sell its solar division but the deal fell through in August.

In September, the French company sold the Rancho Bernardo plant for $30 million, Jacob said — and pointed out that the company got $25 million to build it from the U.S. Department of Energy. And, she noted, there have been questions about whether Soitec had bailed out of the smaller, Tierra del Sol project.

Ryan Waterman, Soitec's lawyer, told the board that both projects are still on track — especially since the state has increased requirements to use clean energy.

"It has has become a more viable project," Waterman said. "Soitec continues to look to sell the two projects as we always did as a manufacturer."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Protestors accuse Trump Boat Parade of trading in racist stereotypes

White Suprema-sea?
Next Article

Hancock Street to get sharrows

"This area will be the next Little Italy"
Comments
1

Follow the money. While I do not care for Jacobs it is clear that she is the only one who cares anything about jobs. The rest of the clown show only care about lining their pockets from Soitec.

Oct. 16, 2015

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close