Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to approve the solar project along O’Byrnes Ferry Road on the condition staff and the company figure out a financial issue and report back at next week’s meeting. The issue surrounds funding to pay for the cleanup of the property after the project is complete or if it shuts down.
Supervisor John Gray says, “I don’t think we are very far off. I think we just need a little more time here. We agree with everything else, everything looks fine. We just need to work together to solve this issue.” He added, “I want to disclose, I did visit the site. I did not see any harm to anybody going on down there. It would be a benefit.”
The Ecoplexus Inc. proposal calls for 5,976 photovoltaic solar panels. They would be spread over 14 acres of property owned by T-5 ranches. The energy would be distributed to the PG&E utility grid. The company wants to use that equipment as collateral saying the recycling of the panels and metal will more than pay for the cleanup. They say that cost is usually around $350,000 and on their last project, equipment recycling covered all cost with some money left over.
The only Supervisor to vote against the project was Liz Bass.