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By Gig Connaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

October 19, 2016 (Jacumba) - The County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a permit Wednesday to build a solar farm in Jacumba that could generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes.

Proponents and County staff said the plant fit the guidelines of the County’s general plan, would help the region meet state goals of producing one-half of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The plant site is located about 2 ½ miles east of the Jacumba Hot Springs in the largely rural East County community, adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico international border fence. It is also located near San Diego Gas & Electric’s East County Substation, meaning it will not require long transmission lines to hook into the region’s power grid.

“I can’t think of a better location for a solar project,” said County Supervisor and Board of Supervisors Vice-chairwoman Dianne Jacob, whose supervisorial district includes Jacumba.

The Major Use Permit approved by the Board will allow Jacumba Solar LLC to build a 108-acre solar plant on 304 acres. The plant would use a little more than 81,000 photovoltaic panels on roughly 2,200 fixed, tilted racks to turn sunlight into 22 megawatts of electricity. The plant will deliver its sun-generated electricity to SDG&E’s substation through a 1,500-foot-long overhead transmission line.

The site will include fire-access road around the project and a 184-acre open-space preserve to save important biological and cultural resources.

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