Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/15/2011 04:54:09 PM PDT

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an option to enter into a long-term lease agreement with a Costa Mesa-based power company to develop a solar plant at the Victorville Sanitary Landfill.

It is part of the county’s push to build renewable energy projects at closed and active landfills countywide to meet state renewable energy goals.

Last month, the county entered into a lease agreement with Los Angeles-based Project Navigator, Ltd. to develop a 2-megawatt solar plant at the Big Bear Sanitary Landfill. The solar plant is expected to produce enough electricity to power about 2,000 homes across Big Bear Valley.

“This program has several benefits. It provides another avenue for the state to meet its renewable energy goals; the county will see a steady revenue stream from leasing these otherwise unused areas, and developers of solar projects can avoid many of the problems often associated with finding suitable sites,” Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt said in a statement. He said he began the push for renewable energy projects at landfills in late 2009.

Under the proposed lease agreement with Axio Power, Inc., Axio would develop a 21-megawatt solar plant on 90 acres adjacent the Victorville landfill. It would produce enough electricity to power roughly 15,000 homes during peak hours.

Axio must first complete an environmental impact report for the project, obtain a power purchase agreement with a utility company and negotiate lease terms with the county’s solid waste management division before a deal is finalized, Mitzelfelt said.

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