Thursday, July 12, 2012

California high-speed rail gets green light Madera to Bakersfield

California lawmakers gave the green light to start building the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line, a multibillion dollar project that will eventually link Los Angeles and San Francisco. This first link is proposed to be from Madera to Bakersfield, Ca. Madera is just north of Fresno, Ca. Madera has a population of 60 thousand, Fresno with 500,000 and Bakersfield a population of 350,000 according to 2010 census. This is certainly not a lot of traffic for an $8 billion project that will run along Hwy 99. The overall project once San Francisco and Los Angeles are connected will be $68 billion, a massive amount for a state that is operating in the red. The vote was along party lines with approval from labor and Governor Brown, yet no Republican voted for approval as they site the massive costs. The Los Angeles Times reported at the same time a French firm SNCF which operates high speed rail in France offered to assist in the construction, but organizers and lawmakers declined the offer as self serving. Governor Brown has pushed for the massive infrastructure project to accommodate expected growth in the nation's most populous state, which now has 37 million people. State and federal officials also said high-speed rail would create jobs. The bill authorizes the state to sell nearly half of a $10 billion high-speed rail bond that voters approved four years ago under Proposition 1A. In addition to financing the first segment of high-speed rail, it allocates a total of $1.9 billion in bonds for regional rail improvements in (Caltrain) Northern and the Metrolink in Southern California. A number of Democrats were not in favor of this project as there are no guarantees for future funding from Federal or private sources. All this aside what does it mean for the land investor? Well initially if you own land between Madera and Bakersfield then you have a potential buyer in your home or land. It also become a target for land and real estate speculators who will target to buy land along potential or proposed routes in the Central Valley and in the Antelope Valley. There are freight rail lines along this route which is more or less along Hwy 99. Most of this land now is less expensive land then land within the San Francisco Bay Area , or Greater Los Angeles. If you wanted a green light to speculate on land in the Central Valley then you have got a track to follow.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

LA County Approves First Solar to Continue Installation at AV Solar Ranch One Project in Antelope Valley’s West Side

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) have reached an agreement on the installation of solar modules at the Solar Ranch One photovoltaic (PV) power plant currently under construction in the Antelope Valley. Construction of the AV Solar Ranch One plant had been suspended during a permitting dispute with county officials over building codes. Installation of the modules had been delayed while First Solar and Public Works worked to achieve agreement related to the module code certifications. The project is partially funded by a $646-million U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee and is expected to be completed next year. First Solar has sold the 230-megawatt Antelope Valley plant in September to Exelon Corp for $75 million according to company filings. Excelon has indicated that they will invest $700 million into the project. Although it is sold to Excelon, First Solar will operate it and maintain it. The agreement with Los Angeles County will enable First Solar to continue construction activities of the 230-megawatt power plant that, which is scheduled for completion in 2013. It will generate enough electricity to power 75,000 homes. The $1.4 billion project is one of the largest in LA County. The 2,100-acre property is located in the northern part of the county and situated on land previously used for agriculture and without threatened or endangered species, according to First Solar