The Ironhouse Sanitary District has apparently cancelled its January 8 Public Hearing to consider adoption of a resolution for its solar project citing not all of the documents were available for public review.
“The solar consultant was unable to get the CEQA documents completed and on the street for public review in time so we (staff) had to recommend postponing the public hearing until next month (February 5th assuming the solar folks complete everything in a timely fashion),” explained General Manager Tom Williams in an email last night.
So let me get this straight, they issue a Notice of Public Hearing back on Dec. 20, 2012 when the documents are not even completed or made available? The outline of the agreement is not available or published anywhere? Their is no cost benefit summary? This is all very suspect. To make matters worse, they scheduled this meeting for the very same time as the Oakley City Council Meeting ensuring even lower attendance than normal.
While I can appreciate the move to postpone the meeting, this was never right from the start as the lack of transparency was embarrassing to the District. As the newly elected Board President as of December, lets hope Chris Lauritzen and Vice President David Huerta can ensure an improvement in transparency of Ironhouse staff to ensure all documents are published online regarding this hearing in a timely matter. A nice start would be emailing the documents when available to concerned citizens and the Oakley City Council / City Manager.
Here is Tom Williams Full email after I request a cost benefit analysis and a copy of the Board Packet.
Mike, nothing at this time. The solar consultant was unable to get the CEQA documents completed and on the street for public review in time so we (staff) had to recommend postponing the public hearing until next month (February 5th assuming the solar folks complete everything in a timely fashion). Unfortunately, this came to light after our notice went in the paper. So, while the public hearing is still on our agenda (since we noticed it in the paper), and the public can come and speak if they would like, the formal public hearing will not take place at January 8th meeting. We will re-notice the public hearing for February 5th once we know all necessary information is in place.
Also, regarding proposed cost benefits, we anticipate all the information will be available for review well in advance of the public hearing in February. In general though, the proposed solar project is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). This means ISD 1) provides some land for the solar company to build solar facilities which they own and operate, 2) ISD invests no money in the solar facilities but, negotiates to purchase the power produced by the solar facilities over 25 years at a cost below that of PG&E. Based on the original submittal by the solar company, we anticipate saving about $100,000 in power costs in year one, and about $7.1 million over the 25 life of the agreement.
Hope this helps.
Here is there original notice posted Dec. 20, 2012
Notice is hereby given pursuant to Government Code section 4217.10 et seq. that the Ironhouse Sanitary District (“District”) will hold a public hearing at 7:00 p.m. on January 8, 2013, to consider the adoption of a resolution making findings that the cost of the proposed, distributed generation solar photovoltaic project to be installed by Real Goods Solar under a Solar Power Purchase Agreement at the District’s Water Recycling Plant and Administration/Maintenance Buildings will be offset and will be less than the anticipated marginal cost to the District of electrical or other energy that would have been consumed by the District if such project was not completed. Project inquiries and questions should be directed to Jenny Skrel at (925) 625-2279 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org