California is streamlining government approvals for two prospective solar farms in East County, giving a boost to the French semiconductor company Soitec as it expands solar manufacturing at a factory in San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo neighborhood.
Aided by a $25 million grant from the Department of Energy, Soitec outfitted its local factory and ramped up production in earnest this year to supply an initial slate of utility-scale projects.
Two of Soitec’s prospective solar projects near Boulevard — Rugged Solar and Tierra del Sol — recently earned a form of fast-track designation by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Under legislation signed in 2011, the California Environmental Leadership Award streamlines any legal challenges to environmental permitting for designated projects, providing for an state appeals court decision within a six-month time frame.
“It really adds certainty to getting the project done,” said Clark Crawford, vice president of sales and business for Soitec in San Diego.
Read more at: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jul/03/soitec-solar-fast-track/