KCOY: Solar Plant Brightens Central Coast Economy

More good news for SLO county coming from the Carrizo Plain, Topaz Solar Farm Green Energy Project:

(from KCOY.com) Carrizo Plain — A huge solar plant is under construction on the central coast. The project is pumping millions into the local economy and providing hundreds of new jobs

Topaz Solar Farms is located on the Carrizo Plain off Highway 58 not far from the Carrissa Plains Elementary School.

The 6-thousand acre site will have 35-hundred acres of solar panels and it will be the biggest in the world.

It’s one of two plants being built in this part of San Luis Obispo County.

Work started on Topaz at the end of 2011. On average it employs about 400 workers.

One of the conditions for the plant was that it provides local jobs.

So far 477 individuals have worked on the project, 95% of them from California,  63% from San Luis Obispo County and 32% from Santa Barbara County.

26 vendors provide services for the site, including buses that shuttle workers to several park ride locations around the county.

Once Topaz Solar Farms is fully operational it will generate enough electricity to power 160-thousand homes.

The solar plant should be online in 2015 and then it will then provide about 15 permanent local jobs.

Cal Poly conducted a financial study estimating the project will inject 417 million dollars into the local economy, 75%of that during the construction phase.

A team of biologists inspects the site daily to monitor the native animals. Ultimately special kit fox fencing will go up around the site providing a safe habitat inside for the endangered fox, while keeping coyotes out.