California solar farms: lots of power, few jobs
Although solar farms create construction jobs in the short term, they don’t typically require much maintenance, experts say.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is on pace to bring nearly 100 megawatts of solar power online, with a relatively small project currently under construction in south Sacramento County and more on the way.
SMUD, the only utility buying power from large projects in the Sacramento region, has signed most of the 20-year agreements to buy a total of 100 megawatts from independent power producers. The projects are all in Sacramento County and 64.6 megawatts are operational, said SMUD spokesman Chris Capra. One megawatt powers roughly 750 homes.
It’s not clear how much the work will affect the local economy. Although solar farms create construction jobs in the short term, they don’t typically require much maintenance, experts say.
A 4-megawatt solar farm on 29 acres on Twin Cities Road outside Elk Grove, owned by S-Energy America, is expected to be online this summer. A much larger 30-megawatt project on McKenzie Road in Galt, developed by Recurrent Energy of San Francisco, is scheduled to be online before the end of the year.
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