By Miriam Raftery
“This is a recipe for disaster, potentially putting us in harm’s way AND increasing our already high fire insurance policies…This is a project that could generate dangerous chemical fires that when spread, could cause property damage as well as loss of life.”—Danielle Cook , member, Jacumba-Boulevard Revitalization Committee
June 13, 2015 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—A proposed industrial-scale solar facility near Jacumba is sparking heated controversy, with some residents raising concerns over fire danger and impacts on local water supplies, wildlife, traffic and public safety.
NextEra Energy, a division of Florida Power and Light, wants to cover 108 acres of a 304 acre site in the Jacumba area with 81,109 solar photovoltaic modules on 2,253 tilting rack panels—along with a collector substation, transmission lines, and lithium battery energy story systems in containers the size of cargo cars. Ultimately, the project would produce up to 20 megawatts of power, according to a draft environmental impact report prepared by the consulting firm DUDEK.