CIM Group is a community-focused real estate and infrastructure owner, operator, lender, and developer. However, for the last several years, the group is repurposing selenium-contaminated and drainage-impaired farmland for the development of clean energy.
Recently the group has welcomed government, labor, business, and civic leaders at a celebratory event. The occasion was to celebrate the completion and operation of Aquamarine, a 250MW solar project.
CIM acquired the property in 2014 with a goal to repurpose the salt-contaminated and drainage-impaired farmland for the development of clean energy. The Aquamarine solar farm is the first portion of the huge Westland’s Solar Park (WSP) complex, which will span an area of 20,000 acres (8,094 ha) across San Joaquin Valley’s Fresno and Kings Counties. The installation is achieved in two phases of 125 MW each.
Aquamarine is the first utility-scale solar project within WSP. Construction of Aquamarine began in late 2020 and concluded at year-end 2021, on time and on budget. WSP is one of the largest permitted solar parks in the United States, with the capacity to grow to more than 2,700-megawatts (2.7 gigawatts) of renewable energy at full buildout and with the potential to provide clean energy to more than 1,200,000 homes.
“California is blazing a path forward toward 100 percent carbon-free energy generation by 2045”, said California Natural Resources Agency, Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “Aquamarine and the next projects will help us get there”.
Construction of Aquamarine created approximately five hundred construction jobs, employing workers from throughout Kings County as well as the nearby communities of Fresno, Tulare, and Madera. Hundreds of workers benefited from an apprenticeship program provided for a career in solar and clean energy development.
“Westlands is an incredible project that’s creating good union jobs, driving local wages and developing a skilled workforce to power the green energy economy,” said George Hershman, CEO of SOLV Energy and Board Chair of Solar Energy Industry Association.
Aquamarine is now generating power for the California grid and delivering on its previously executed Power Purchase Agreements including with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District for renewable energy credits associated with 75 megawatts of capacity, a 50-megawatt contract with Valley Clean Energy Alliance, and with the City of Santa Clara, CA (Silicon Valley Power) for renewable energy credits associated with 75 megawatts of capacity. CIM Group is currently negotiating additional PPAs with other potential counterparties for Aquamarine and future projects within WSP.
“CIM Group’s commitment to becoming a resource for renewable energy, such as at Aquamarine and the future projects within Westlands Solar Park, aligns with our company’s overarching directive, to meet the needs of communities. We anticipate that approximately $3 billion will be invested in developing projects within Westlands Solar Park as we complete build-out, continuing the creation of clean energy construction jobs, economic development throughout the region and contributing renewable energy to meet California’s clean energy goals,” said Avi Shemesh, Co-Founder, and Principal, CIM Group.
A similar initiative is led by the City of San Jose, CA. A new solar and battery storage project in Kern County, California started delivering power last week.
The innovative Kern Solar and Battery Storage Project is providing power for SJCE customers in a unique format. A fixed delivery of 62 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy between 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. every day. This will support grid reliability help reduce reliance on power plants that produce harmful emissions and improve air quality.
Since launching service in February 2019, SJCE has invested $1 billion in 500 MW of renewable resources that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels, improve cost-effectiveness and rate stability, and advance statewide energy reliability goals.
Contact Staten Solar for your solar energy-related queries. Call 408-780-2889