Hanford

Kings Supervisors reject China-centric appeal to halt Westlands solar farm

Kings County Supervisors rejected an appeal of a Planning Commission approval on Tuesday of three large solar projects proposed by Westlands Solar Park.

The appeal, by Roger McNitt, President of La Jolla-based Southern Realty Co. argues that no one will buy the electricity produced by the project if they use polysilicon made by forced labor in the Xinjiang Province in China.

In a briefing for Supervisors, McNitt argued that the County Planning Commission erred and abused its discretion by not insisting on mitigation by use of the Traceability Protocol, Buyer Disclosure Guides, and Environmental Commitments of the Solar Energy Industries Association or some other type of mitigation.

At the center of his contention is that Community Choice Aggregation utilities – energy providers in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties – may opt against buying power from the water agency because it uses the Chinese solar panels.

Previously, McNitt contended that a different Kings solar project would cause issues for pilots at NAS Lemoore, citing the possibility of it leading to a plane crash.

Southern Realty has considerable interests in oil and mineral rights in a number of San Joaquin Valley counties.

Get the full story: Read more.

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.