Solar panels out for Front St. land

Yellow lines show the site where solar panels were going to be installed. That land has been rented to the Tracy FFA for next year.

Geronimo Energy has apparently abandoned plans for developing a solar energy project on city-owned land along Front Street.
“It’s my understanding that they have dropped it,” said Tracy Public Works Director Shane Daniels last week.
When the company did sub-soil tests on the former Central Livestock property, Daniels said, lead contamination was turned up. Daniels said the company probably didn’t want to risk future liability, by disturbing sub-soil materials during the installation of solar panels.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency several years ago conducted an extensive “Super Fund” operation to remove lead-contaminated soils from the site. Daniels said that sub-soil lead amounts could still be present in small amounts. The lead contamination is due to battery chopping operations that were conducted decades ago on land north of what is today the DeRuyer Pallet building.
Efforts to reach Geronimo Energy for comment were unsuccessful.
Geronimo and the City of Tracy had reached a preliminary agreement last year on renting land for the Front St. project at $700 an acre.
Last week, the city council approved a two-year rental agreement with the Tracy FFA Chapter. The FFA will be renting 16 acres of cropland for $180 an acre.