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Solar farm to be explored

Post Date:04/18/2024 12:37 PM

The City Council’s 5-Year Strategic Plan identifies several long term projects related to protecting our natural resources. A new solar energy study is one of those projects. This week, the City Council, in its capacity as the Carlsbad Municipal Water District Board, received an update on a study to see if a solar farm project could be built on available property near the city’s eastern border to generate and store solar energy.  

solar farm site

The city is only at the very beginning stages of exploring the idea. The next step will be to hire an expert in the field to work with the city to study the feasibility and evaluate different ways it could be operated. That work will begin at the end of this year. If the project looks viable, the city would then work with the surrounding community to get feedback and discuss design considerations.

  • The project has the potential to increase renewable energy production, which would help the city meet its Climate Action Plan goals and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It could also help offset energy costs and could save money for Carlsbad Municipal Water District customers.

This project’s process comes down to three phases:

Phase 1: Feasibility
This is when the city will work with a solar energy expert to conduct a feasibility study to iron out important details, including: 

  • Financing
  • Development and operational models
  • Potential for energy production
  • Land use and environmental constraints
  • Effects on the surrounding neighborhood

The city will also gather community input during this phase. After the feasibility study is complete, the team will make a recommendation to the CMWD Board which will then decide whether to move forward. 

Phase 2: Preliminary Design

  • This is when the project design will take shape, including how the project will look and how much it will cost. More community outreach happens here, too.
  • After the preliminary design is complete, the CMWD Board will determine whether to move into the next phase.

Phase 3: Final Design and Construction

  • The project will go through environmental review and permitting, final details of the design will come together and construction will take place. 
  • Community outreach happens throughout this phase to make sure the community is aware of the status and have opportunities to provide feedback. 
  • The project will also return to the CMWD Board several times during this phase for updates and approvals.

More information
Staff report

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