By Duane Gang
on February 10, 2011 12:27 PM
Riverside County supervisors want to begin flexing their muscles in the ongoing renewable energy debate.
Supervisors don’t want to disproportionately bear the burden of renewable energy production and want a benefit to local residents even if the power produced here goes to other parts of California.
The board approved a plan this week to begin lobbying state officials on the issue and ordered a policy that would require county staff to negotiate revenue-generating agreements on renewable energy projects.
The deals, such as development and franchise agreements, would apply to power plants, transmission lines and related facilities, according to the measure supervisors unanimously approved Tuesday.
“We need to establish our presence early on,” Board Chairman Bob Buster said.
Buster said a vigorous debate is under way between renewable energy, desert habitat conservation and resident concerns over where to place transmission lines.
“This is an ongoing item about the relationship of the Riverside County desert to the national energy needs,” he said. “This is a huge issue.”
The lobbying effort includes:
— Changing state tax rules on property tax exclusion for newly constructed solar energy systems. County officials want the exclusion to only apply to power generated for on-site consumption.
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