The Citizen’s Budget Committee and the City Council have decided to not move forward at this time with a proposal to create a “solar farm” on the Imperatrice property; an 864-acre City-owned parcel outside the City limits on the north side of I-5, off of Eagle Mill Road. The proposal – which was not generated by City staff or by a solar energy developer, but by a group of interested citizens – was to build a 10 megawatt solar power generation facility on the property.
The Imperatrice property was acquired for $950,000 in the late ‘90s for the purpose of storing and land-spreading waste water effluent. It has not been used for that purpose, but recent changes to Department of Environmental Quality regulations mean it may yet be needed for waste water treatment. The Council requested additional information about effluent treatment and the potential for recreational uses of the property. Therefore, the City will not go forward with the citizen-suggested solar farm at this time.
Prior to the Council’s discussion of the Imperatrice property, Mayor John Stromberg asked City staff to answer a set of questions regarding the solar farm proposal. The Mayor’s questions and the staff’s answers are provided here.