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A PROPOSAL TO BUILD ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST SOLAR FARMS IN THE PANOCHE VALLEY (SOUTH OF HOLLISTER) ONLY NEEDS ITS FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITS, AND SOME NEW INVESTORS TO BANKROLL IT. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON HAS ALREADY AGREED TO A 20-YEAR CONTRACT TO PURCHASE ELECTRICITY CREATED THERE. THE STATE’S UTILITY COMPANIES NEED TO FIND NEW SOURCES OF ELECTRICITY BECAUSE A 3 YEAR-OLD LAW REQUIRES THEM TO PROVIDE 33 PERCENT OF THEIR ELECTRICITY FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES (SUCH AS SOLAR AND WIND POWER) BY THE YEAR 2020. THE STATE’S 3 LARGEST UTILITIES ARE CURRENTLY AT ABOUT 21 PERCENT. SEVERAL ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SAY THEY WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT THIS PROJECT, BECAUSE THEY SAY IT THREATENS THE RURAL CHARACTER OF THE AREA, AND WOULD HARM SEVERAL ENDANGERED SPECIES (INCLUDING THE SAN JOAQUIN KIT FOX, AND THE BLUNT-NOSED LEOPARD LIZARD).

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