New York, United States — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 11 August 2011 – In what has been described as a victory for renewable energy, First Solar and SunPower Corporation have reached agreements with environmental groups to help protect endangered animals around two of the largest planned solar power plants in the United States.
Revealing this in a statement released here, the companies said the agreements helped clear the way to build First Solar’s 550MW Topaz solar farm and SunPower’s 250MW California Valley Solar Ranch plant in the Carrizo plain in San Luis Obispo county.
The Carrizo Plain is a recovery area for the San Joaquin kit fox and giant Kangaroo rat.
Under the agreements with the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Biological Diversity, the companies will add 9,000 acres to 17,000 acres that are currently set to be marked as permanently protected areas around the plants.
SunPower and First Solar will also remove almost 50km of fencing to allow for greater wildlife movement, help eliminate poisons used to control rodents in the area, and make significant financial contributions to acquire undeveloped areas for restoration.