Major Tracy solar project sidelined

By Seth Schmidt

The development of a 200-acre solar energy array near Tracy by Juwi Solar will not be taking place as previously announced.
Juwi, a Boulder, Colorado-based developer, obtained a Lyon County conditional use permit in 2015 to construct a 24.74 mega-watt solar array on the northwest outskirts of Tracy.
The solar project was to be located on farmland owned by Ron McDaniel of Excelsior, and Nyla McDaniel Nordvik, of Caman Island, Washington. Juwi originally announced its intent to begin construction of the Tracy solar array in the spring of 2016, with completion in the fall of 2016.  At the peak of an expected 10-month construction period, 100 workers were projected to be on the site. A year ago, Juwi officials said that construction had been delayed until the spring of 2017.
However,  John Biren,  Lyon County planning and zoning official, said Monday that he’s been told by the company that no construction is planned this year. Biren’s understanding, is that a procedural snag involving the sale of the array’s electricity to X-cel Energy, is the reason for the lack of construction. The conditional use permit granted by the county to allow the construction of the solar array expires May 28, 2017.
Ron McDaniel said that he considers Juwi’s solar array project on his family’s land to be “dead.”  The family land, he indicates, will be planted into crops this spring.
However, McDaniel said that the site continues to be an ideal location for a solar energy project, because of its proximity to the sub-station and high-capacity power lines. The McDaniel land is located north of Salmon Automotive and the former Red Rooster property, and extends along the east side of the Highline Road for nearly one mile.
The Headlight-Herald contacted Juwi on Monday, but was not able to get a statement regarding the company’s plans.