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Solar Power Groups File Suit Against County

Two groups representing the solar power industry file suit to overturn the so-called "sun tax" approved by Riverside County Supervisors in November.

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.

trenchf00t February 07, 2012 at 08:25 AM
In the future, the southwest will be North America's battery. A huge energy economy will develop in the region, and Riverside County will be a part of it. A tax will send the business to other counties, and we will miss out. Let's sacrifice the revenue that will come to the county through long-term organic growth as a result of these projects just so that we can tax a specific land use in the short term. Our supervisors should be more business friendly! Capital projects -> Jobs -> Development -> Revenue. Why are these myopic bean counters always trying to turn it around the other way?
trenchf00t February 07, 2012 at 08:28 AM
* "Let's NOT sacrifice", it should have read.
JoAnn February 07, 2012 at 03:04 PM
We just contracted with a solar group. This is not good news. Just when you feel like you are getting ahead/doing the right thing, someone finds a was to rain on your parade. I agree with you, trenchfoot. This is a battle for power sources and communications ( see what amazon is doing with authors). Go to the mattresses.
JoAnn February 07, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Opps- should read -A way to rain---
Amazing Lies February 07, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Has there ever been a requirement for any other type of business, however large their footprint, to pay for "access to public rights-of-way and for altering the desert landscape."? It seems to me that this is Riverside County showing its greedy side once more. I'm sure if they could find a way to charge for 'access to sunlight' they would. trenchf00t is right on point. The way forward is for us to utilise renewable or sustainable rather than finite sources of energy. Er, would solar rays perhaps fall into that category?
TVOR February 08, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Wre should build small nuclear plants in every city. It is safer than any fuel burning method of energy production and a heck of a lot cheaper as well.

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