Definitive Solar Institute

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Big Leaps or Baby Steps? Legislative Efforts to Streamline Renewable Energy Permitting in California

Thursday, January 19, 2012 1:00pm - 2:30pm EST  
Host: Infocast

Over the past several years, California has adopted a variety of laws and policies encouraging development of renewable energy projects, including an aggressive renewable portfolio standard and laws requiring that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced. Yet, renewable energy development has continued to face significant hurdles related to siting and permitting requirements that slow project approvals and, in some cases, interfere with project development. The 2011 California legislative session brought some much needed change to the permitting process for renewable energy projects. Governor Brown has signed into law several bills intended to streamline permitting for renewable energy projects. SB 16 and ABX1 13 are companion bills that require the California Department of Fish and Game to follow specific procedural steps when evaluating compliance of certain renewable energy projects with the California Endangered Species Act, and are intended to speed up permitting. SB 267 excludes certain renewable energy projects from requirements to conduct water supply analyses, which eliminates a potentially significant cost associated with project processing. SB 618 provides take authority for fully protected species and facilitates certain solar projects on agricultural lands. The presenters will provide an overview of these and other relevant new laws, and opine on the likelihood that these laws will succeed at streamlining renewable energy project permitting.


Kristen Castaños, Partner, Stoel Rives, LLP

Elizabeth Cason, Counsel, Stoel Rives, LLP



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