Board Expected to Approve Changes to Riverside Solar Project

Board Expected to Approve Changes to Riverside Solar Project

Riverside, CA


On Monday December 12, the Riverside Board of Public Utilities will meet to consider changes to a proposed deal with Solar Star California XXXIX. 

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held in the Art Pick Council Chambers at 3900 Main St. Riverside. 

In 2015, Riverside approved a contract with Solar Star. Since that time however, the company has encountered a myriad of difficulties. Firstly, two of the well sites proposed were determined to be unsuitable for the project. In addition, the company experienced complications in the permit process and other unexpected costs. 

The proposed project is slated for development on property located within the boundaries of San Bernardino County where Riverside Public Utilities owns a number of water wells. 

Monday’s meeting will explore Solar Star California XXXIX’s proposed revisions to its contract. Those revisions would allow the company to build a power facility with 4.5 megawatts. This is one megawatt less than was initially proposed. It is projected this approach will save the utility nearly $18 million over a period of 25 years. 

The Board of Public Utilities is expected to recommend that the Riverside City Council approve the 25-year amended and restated Power Purchase agreement between Solar Star California XXXIX and the City of Riverside to design, construct, operate and maintain the project. 

Riverside's Board of Public Utilities is composed of nine citizen-volunteers appointed by the City Council to four-year terms without compensation. The Board oversee the utility's policies, operations, revenues, expenditures, planning, and regulatory compliance. In addition to bi-weekly Board meetings, members also serve on subcommittees to provide input on the development of new facilities and equipment. 

The Board also provides an ongoing, year-round review of all actions by Riverside Public Utilities before any measure is sent to the elected City Council representatives for final determination.

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