Two associations representing power companies are suing Riverside County, alleging a per-acre fee on solar electricity providers is an illegal tax.
``In order for California to meet its renewable energy objectives and
take real strides toward energy independence, the solar industry needs to be nurtured, not attacked by illegal county policies,'' said Jan Smutny-Jones, executive director of the Independent Energy Producers Association.
The IEP and the Large-scale Solar Association, filed suit in Riverside County Superior Court on Friday, asking that Board of Supervisors’ policy B-29 be invalidated.
The policy, approved in November, requires solar power companies that produce more that 20 megawatts to pay an annual fee of $450 per acre for access to public rights-of-way and for altering the desert landscape.
Developers call the fee an illegal tax, since it was not approved by voters as provided by Proposition 26 in 2010.
Around 20 solar projects are in the works, planned within a 118,000-acre
area extending east from Desert Center to Blythe.
City News Service contributed to this story.