WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Governor utilized California’s infrastructure law to accelerate a critical clean energy project in Riverside County while creating good jobs and investing $296 million in California’s economy.
February 10, 2024 - SACRAMENTO – On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he took action to accelerate a clean energy project in Riverside County that, if ultimately approved, is expected to deliver clean power to hundreds of thousands of homes in the region while also creating good paying jobs.
The project invests nearly $300 million in California’s economy and is the first clean energy project streamlined by Governor Newsom.
The Governor certified the Easley Renewable Energy Project utilizing tools to build more faster that were extended in the historic infrastructure package passed last year with the support of the Legislature. The certification means a streamlined process for legal challenges that can otherwise cause long delays. In November, Governor Newsom streamlined the Sites Reservoir Project – the first project certified by the Governor under the new law.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT:
- The Easley Renewable Energy Project is expected to deliver clean power for up to 650,000 homes. It would add 400 megawatts (MW) of solar generation powering up to 400,000 homes, as well as up to 650 MW of battery storage critical for supporting California’s power grid and powering 650,000 homes.
- The project would help California achieve its world-leading climate and clean energy goals, including powering the state with 90% clean electricity by 2035 and 100% by 2045.
- Easley’s battery storage is essential to maximizing renewable energy while maintaining a safe and reliable electric grid in the face of climate-driven extreme weather as the state transitions away from fossil fuels.
HOW IT WORKS:
- SB 7 (2021) allows the Governor to certify eligible clean energy and green housing projects for judicial streamlining under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This key tool to cut red tape was extended in last year’s SB 149.
- Courts must decide CEQA challenges to certified projects within 270 days to the extent feasible – saving months or even years of litigation delays after a project has already passed environmental review, while still allowing legal challenges to be heard.
“California is building more faster to make our communities cleaner and greener. With this project, we can deliver clean power to hundreds of thousands of homes and create good paying jobs.”
Governor Gavin Newsom
HOW WE GOT HERE:
- In July, Governor Newsom signed into law a package of bills to accelerate critical infrastructure projects across California that will help build our 100% clean electric grid, ensure safe drinking water and boost the state’s water supply, and modernize our transportation system.
- By streamlining permitting, cutting red tape, and allowing state agencies to use new project delivery methods, these new laws will maximize taxpayer dollars and accelerate timelines of projects throughout the state, while ensuring appropriate environmental review and community engagement.
- The package will take full advantage of an unprecedented $180 billion in state, local, and federal infrastructure funds over the next ten years while creating an estimated 400,000 good-paying jobs.
Find more projects that are building California’s future at build.ca.gov.
Source: Office of the Governor