NEWS WORTH NOTING: CDFW awards $40 Million for restoration projects; DWR’s largest solar energy project connects to grid; Governor makes appointments to Klamath River Renewal Corporation Board of Directors

>CDFW Awards $40 Million for Ecosystem and Watershed Restoration and Protection Projects

From the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced that it is awarding $40 million in Proposition 1 funds for water quality, river and watershed protection, and restoration projects for vital waterways throughout California.

In the second of ten planned annual grant cycles, CDFW has selected 44 projects to receive funding from its Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Prop 1) Restoration Grant Programs. The awards, totaling $40 million, include approximately $28 million awarded through the Watershed Restoration Grant Program to projects of statewide importance outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and approximately $12 million awarded through the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program to projects that directly benefit the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

“In year two of our Prop 1 grant program we continue to support on-the-ground actions that meet the objectives of the California Water Action Plan, as well as planning activities that set the stage for future restoration statewide,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “We have made great progress in the first two grant cycles and we cannot wait to get more multi-benefit projects done throughout the state.”

Each of these multi-benefit projects addresses the priorities outlined in the 2016 Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs Solicitation and the California Water Action Plan. Priorities include: Protecting and restoring mountain meadow ecosystems, managing headwaters for multiple benefits, protecting and restoring anadromous fish habitat, and protecting and restoring coastal wetland ecosystems.

For a list of specific projects receiving funding, click here.

CDFW plans to release the next Prop 1 solicitation in late spring or early summer 2017. Prior to its release, CDFW will host a series of workshops to engage potential project proponents. CDFW hopes to provide additional outreach to certain regions of the state that have submitted fewer proposals, particularly in Southern California.

At that time, general information about CDFW’s Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs, as well as a schedule of locations and dates for workshops will be available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants.

Funding for these projects comes from the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act 2014 (Proposition 1) bond funds, a portion of which are allocated annually through the California State Budget Act. More information about Proposition 1 can be found here.

DWR’s Largest Solar Energy Project Connects to Grid

85-Megawatt Plant in Lancaster Will Provide Clean Power for 20 Years

From the Department of Water Resources:

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) said today its largest renewable energy project, the Solverde 1 Solar Facility in the City of Lancaster, has begun delivering electricity to the State Water Project (SWP). DWR’s partner in the project is sPower of Salt Lake City, UT, the largest private owner of utility-scale solar operating assets.

Under terms of a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement announced last year, the Solverde 1 Solar Facility is an 85-megawatt plant that will deliver approximately 240,000 Megawatt hours (MWh) annually, or nearly 4.8 million MWh over the life of the contract.

DWR Director Mark W. Cowin said the project is a major advancement in shrinking the SWP’s carbon footprint and cutting emissions that contribute to climate change. “We expect substantial environmental benefits due to this solar project,” Cowin said.

DWR is committed to a long-term effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by its operations. Although DWR has already reached its 2020 near-term goal to reduce GHG emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels, the Solverde 1 Solar Facility will assist DWR in meeting California Governor Edmund G. Brown’s long-term goal to reduce GHG emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The Solverde 1 Solar Facility is expected to replace SWP market energy purchases from natural gas power plants resulting in GHG emission reductions of 105,000 metric tons annually.

sPower has installed more than 330,000 photovoltaic modules mounted on a motorized heliotropic tracking system that adjusts the panels’ orientation throughout the day to follow the sun’s path and maximize energy capture.

Governor makes appointments to Klamath River Renewal Corporation Board of Directors

From the Office of the Governor:

Leon Szeptycki, 52, of Stanford, has been appointed to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation Board of Directors. Szeptycki has been the professor of the practice and executive director of Water in the West at Stanford University’s Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment since 2013. He was a professor and director of the Environmental Law and Conservation Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law from 2006 to 2012, where he was a lecturer from 2002 to 2005. Szeptycki was general counsel and eastern conservation director at Trout Unlimited from 1997 to 2006 and an attorney at McGuire, Woods, Battle and Boothe from 1992 to 1996. He was served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Consumer Litigation in the Civil Division from 1990 to 1992 and as a law clerk for the Honorable Stephanie K. Seymour at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit from 1988 to 1989. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Szeptycki is a Democrat.

Michael Barr, 68, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation Board of Directors. Barr has been a partner at Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman LLP since 1981, where he was an associate from 1973 to 1981.  He is a member of the American College of Environmental Lawyers Board of Regents. Barr earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Barr is a Republican.

 

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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