|Written by Green Liver, Imperial Valley News|
Sacramento, California – A new law by Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella) to spur clean-energy development and green job creation in the state was signed today by the Governor.
“By expediting renewable energy permitting and siting processes, we can achieve our state’s renewable energy goals and create jobs in California,” said Pérez, chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy. “Smart policy choices such as this new law will help encourage a climate that spurs business investment and innovation and promotes a sustainable economic recovery.”
ABx1 13 streamlines the siting and permitting process for renewable energy projects within the state’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). It adds wind and geothermal energy projects to a program currently in place for large-scale solar projects, whereby the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) may offer project developers the option of paying mitigation fees in-lieu of the traditional permitting process. The in-lieu fees are then used by DFG to acquire and restore habitat lands for species impacted by the projects. Included in the bill are also a number of fee accountability and transparency provisions to ensure that DFG has the staff capacity and manpower to expedite project reviews. These renewable energy developer fees are scheduled to sunset in 2016.
The new law also authorizes grants, upon legislative appropriation, of up to $7 million for Imperial and Riverside counties, as well as for counties in the San Joaquin Valley, to revise their general plans and zoning ordinances to encourage local renewable energy development.
“These grants will go far to facilitate the development and construction of local renewable energy projects,” said Pérez.
To read the text of the new law, please visit the state’s legislative information website at: www.leginfo.ca.gov.