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Endangered Salamander Could Derail Solar Project

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Sonora, CA — Plans for a large solar project off O’Byrnes Ferry Road have hit a snag with the state.

Last November the Tuolumne County Supervisors approved a proposal of Ecoplexus Incorporated to construct 5,700 photovoltaic solar panels. CAO Craig Pedro confirms that the project has encountered a challenge from the State of California.

“There is a listed species, the California Tiger Salamander, and they have concerns that there would be a disruption of habitat,” says Pedro. They (Ecoplexus) are trying to fight through that condition, and see if there are some changes that can be made.”

Time is running short, as PG&E has set a July 15th deadline to complete the project. The energy would be distributed to the company’s utility grid.

“We’ve told Ecoplexus that if they can get federal and state officials to agree to whatever change in the condition that works, we would be glad to amend the condition,” Pedro adds. “Right now, it appears that this could be something that could actually lead to that project not moving forward. We are working on it as we speak, and we should know the result at the June 4th Board meeting.”

The plan is for the solar panels to be spread over 14 acres of property owned by T-5 ranches.