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Gibbons Avenue good spot for solar farm

We see no reason that a solar farm should not be developed on Gibbons Avenue, west of South Main Street, once a few details with the neighbors are worked out.

ImModo Solar has a proposal before the Tulare County Planning Commission to construct a 4.6-megawatt plant on the south side of Gibbons Avenue, just about across the street from the Walmart Distribution Center. The company has a similar proposal for a solar plant on North Main Street, as well.

One neighbor to the proposed plant raised concerns at the last planning commission meeting that the project may not be compatible, but that is an industrial area and if such projects are to be done, then certainly an industrial area makes sense.

The area is also used for some farming, but not prime ag land. It is mostly zoned for industrial use, such as the distribution center.

The neighbor has some concerns that the project may eliminate a well that they have access to in which to irrigate their two-acre citrus orchard, even though the well is on the property being purchased by the solar developer. Evidently, the use of the well was a verbal arrangement made between the former property owners and the neighbor years ago. 

However, those working with the developers say there is other water available to the orchard and they would work with the neighbor to come to a solution.

We also disagree with the argument that the project will create blight. Solar fields, which are not the nicest things to look at, are certainly not blight and are fenced and well kept. There is no lighting to create glare, no traffic and no noise with a solar project.

The developers expressed a willingness to work with the neighbors and we would certainly encourage that to occur. However, the land where the proposed the solar plant is zoned for such uses and we would encourage the county planning commission to approve the project.

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