County of Imperial Renewable Energy PEIR
A comprehensive update as well as PEIR for the County of Imperial’s Renewable Energy and Transmission Element
- Seismic Element
- Public Safety Element
- Geothermal and Alternative Energy Element
- Programmatic Environmental Impact Report
- Land Use Element
- Agricultural Element
- Conservation and Open Space Element
- Water Element
Imperial County, California has become one of the hotbeds of renewable energy development in not only the US but all the Western Hemisphere. The rush of geothermal, solar, and wind energy developers resulted in the need for an update to the Renewable Energy and Transmission Element. Chambers Group both updated the Renewable Energy and Transmission Element in addition to preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Report.
The updated Geothermal and Alternative Energy Element was based on the constraints and opportunities identified in an environmental baseline analysis covering the entire County, which was completed as the first phase of the update. Information was obtained in GIS format from a variety of local, state, and federal agencies and mapped for use in determining the most suitable locations within the County for the generation and transmission of energy from renewable resources.
Key issues that Chambers Group addressed included eliminating potential conflicts between the various renewable energy generation technologies and existing urban and community-developed areas, agricultural resources, protection of high-quality park and recreation areas, and conservation of sensitive cultural and biological resources. The task also included any required revisions to other General Plan Elements to assure internal consistency. The Element update also included a consistency analysis with the Land Use, Agricultural, Conservation and Open Space, Water, and the Seismic and Public Safety Elements. In addition, special attention was given to potential conflicts with adopted or proposed Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP) and Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) programs, specifically the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP).
Finally, Chambers Group prepared a Programmatic EIR (PEIR) to accommodate the implementation of future renewable energy projects found to be in conformance with the Element. Individual future energy generation projects will be able to tier from the PEIR in a manner that will encourage the project to be located in suitable areas and will expedite approval for appropriately sited projects.
Chambers Group received awards at the state and local level from the Association of Environmental Professionals and American Planning Association.
Chambers Group was awarded with the Outstanding Environmental Analysis Document EIR/EIS Award for the Imperial County General Plan Renewable Energy and Transmission Element Update Programmatic Environmental Impact Report as well as presented wth a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Planning Document for the Element Update and Implementation OrdinanceAEP San Diego