Supervisor Benoit Praises Settlement of Solar Industry Lawsuit
RIVERSIDE – Riverside County Board Chairman John J. Benoit today praised a proposed agreement that would end the solar industry’s lawsuit against the county while making sure solar developers pay for using Riverside County’s property.
“This tentative settlement preserves the right of Riverside County to be properly paid for the use of thousands of acres of our desert by solar developers,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “This agreement will benefit Riverside County for years to come and will give solar developers certainty about the cost of using Riverside County’s resources.”
Under the proposed agreement, the Independent Energy Producers Association and the Large Scale Solar Association will drop their lawsuit against Riverside County if the Board of Supervisors modifies its solar power plant policy under the agreed-upon terms. The county would reduce the per-acre payment from $450 to $150 but eliminate incentives in order to simplify the policy. Solar developers also agreed to take steps ensuring that Riverside County is allocated the maximum amount of sales and use taxes generated by the projects.
The agreement was approved by a Riverside Superior Court judge Wednesday. On Tuesday, May 21, the Board of Supervisors will consider accepting the agreement and making the necessary modifications to the solar policy. The agreement won’t be final until at least that time.