On the heels of a UC Merced report that says clean energy could produce 100,000 jobs in the San Joaquin Valley comes this announcement from Southern California Edison: A solar power plant being built near Porterville will create about 125 construction jobs.
The solar array of 29,400 panels is being built on 32 acres of city land next to the Porterville airport. It will generate enough electricity to power 4,000 houses. in the area.
The installation joins SCE power plants online in Fontana and Chino, both in the Inland Valley portion of Southern California, and six others under construction in the same region. Over the next five years, the utility plans to install 250 million watts of solar power at 100 sites. Its solar program could create 1,200 jobs, the utility says.
The San Joaquin Valley is considered ripe for renewable-energy projects and research. Ample sunshine; abundant land - much of it out-of-production farmland; proximity to transmission lines; fewer concerns over endangered species; and a strong labor force are some of assets.
In addition, high power bills and low incomes make the Valley a natural for energy-efficiency programs.
(map from Valley-Can.org)