Monday, May 2, 2011

Beautiful Earth Group Breaks Ground in the City of Lancaster Ca. as Another Alternative Energy Company Turns Rural Land into Developed Land

The City of Lancaster, Ca. continues to move alternative energy projects forward in their quest to be the Green Capital of California and the nation. Recently The City Council gave initial approval for a new solar energy project proposed by a New York firm Beautiful Earth Group at 90th West at H on 180 acres of land on the west side of the city in Del Sur. The Del Sur Solar site looks to be from 80th West to 90th West along Ave H in an L shape form and the narrow portion of the L from 80th to 85th W down to H-8. The city has already approved the Tuusso High Desert Solar project that will generate 20 megawatts of power after completion next year at 100th West at H. The other two solar sites within the city limits are Sunlight Partners and E-solar which we have referred to before.
Beautiful Earth Group is a Brooklyn NY Non-profit firm focused on developing wind power and solar energy facilities for utility companies and government and commercial users. They indicated to the press that they targeted this location as it was on previously disturbed land “farmed land” so eliminating its environmental impact. They also use less water than the steam generating solar facilities. This project will compose of two 19 mega-watt facilities and will generate energy to power 10,000 homes. The city’s planning department last November approved changes to the general plan and zoning to allow this Beautiful Earth project to move forward. The site is also situated next to a large SoCal Edison Substation at 90th West at H. Press releases indicate that the company is still in the process of getting power purchasing agreements from Edison. But the city of Lancaster is creating opportunities and fast tracking permits in order to facilitate green energy technology within current city limits.
What does this mean for a land investor? Well it shows that large portions of city and county land have been bought for developers other than residential and typical commercial developers. Although there is a great deal of land available in the Antelope Valley these solar and wind turbine sites take up a good portion of available land. The real estate growth in Southern California is in Antelope Valley, as fewer homes are being built here and elsewhere, but alternative energy firms Beautiful Earth, E-solar, First Solar Inc., NRG Energy, and BYD are moving into the valley and maybe your parcel will be next.

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