Obtaining Environmental Permits in Record Time for a 2,000-Acre Solar Project

We have represented successfully a client in regulatory compliance and environmental permitting for construction of three utility-scale solar projects in Imperial County, California.

One of the projects required special expertise to obtain a permit - issued in record time - allowing the client to resume construction on the 2,000-acre project.  With our help, the client obtained the first California Endangered Species Act Section 2081 incidental take permit for the flat-tailed horned lizard that resulted in saving the client significant project costs and completing the project in a timely manner.

Our client, Tenaska, was in the construction phase of a utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar development project in Southern California.  In the midst of construction, the flat-tailed horned lizard, which occupies the region, was listed as an endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act.  The listing resulted in project shut-down, threatening delays in meeting scheduled deadlines and potential demobilization of construction equipment.  We coordinated with Tenaska’s environmental compliance and construction management teams and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to secure a short-term permit in less than five days.  The permit allowed construction to resume.  In fewer than three weeks, we obtained an amended permit covering the balance of the construction phase of the project.  Both permits were issued in record time - it is rare to get the Department to deem an application for a 2081 permit complete in 30 days much less issue one.

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