Supervisors OK new solar project

Merced Sun-Star StaffNovember 15, 2012 

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a 110-megawatt solar facility, spanning 1,012 acres in the Santa Nella area, during last week's board meeting.

The project will install 300,000 solar panels on eight parcels of Santa Nella's agricultural land on the north and south sides of McCabe Road and on the west side of Whitworth Road, according to Mark Hendrickson, director of commerce, aviation and economic development for Merced County.

The project began in 2010 when the private owners of the land -- River West Investment Inc. -- approached the county with the idea.

The facility will supply power to homes in Southern California, not in the valley.

The project will employ about 315 temporary construction workers for a 16-month period.

Once the 16-month construction period ends, the facility will hire five workers in permanent positions, including maintenance and electrical jobs.

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