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California Governor Moves to Streamline Process Tied to Large Solar Project

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently certified a solar energy project in Riverside County, Calif. The certification means a streamlined process for legal challenges that can otherwise cause long delays, Newsom’s office said.

The Governor certified the Easley Renewable Energy Project utilizing tools to build projects at a faster pace that were extended in the state’s infrastructure package passed last year with the support of the Legislature.

The Easley Renewable Energy Project would add 400 megawatts of solar generation, as well as up to 650 MW of battery storage.

California’s SB 7 allows California’s governor to certify eligible clean energy and green housing projects for judicial streamlining under the California Environmental Quality Act. “This key tool to cut red tape was extended in last year’s SB 149,” Newsom’s office said.

Courts must decide CEQA challenges to certified projects within 270 days to the extent feasible – “saving months or even years of litigation delays after a project has already passed environmental review, while still allowing legal challenges to be heard,” Newsom’s office said.

In November, Newsom streamlined the Sites Reservoir Project, the first project certified by the Governor under the new law.

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