A solar project that was in the final stages of approval may be in jeopardy, after a two-percent franchise fee has been proposed on the project.

Because the proposed policy was still in draft stage, details were sparse. However, the company developing a 7,000-acre solar facility, Solar Millennium, was advised that it should prepare itself for policies that could impose a two percent gross fee on all solar projects that needed the approval of the county.

The Coachella Valley Economic Partnership met and discussed the matter, ultimately issuing a letter expressing concerns that the fee could have on solar projects, particular such a large-scale project.

The fee could result in an indefinite delay for the project, causing the city of Blythe to hold a special meeting of its city council to discuss the impact.

From the Desert Independent:

A Special Meeting of the Blythe City Council is being held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21 to discuss a position for the City to take in response to Supervisor John Benoit’s last-minute move to impose a 2%-of-gross Franchise Fee on all current and future solar projects in Riverside County. In the background statement to the City Council, City Manager David Lane states:

Solar Millennium is in the final approval stages on a proposed 7,000-acre solar project utilizing parabolic trough technology. The project will be located northwest of the Blythe Airport, primarily on BLM property. According to Solar Millennium representatives, tentative federal loan guarantees are in place and one of the final requirements is approval of the project by Riverside County. Final County approval was apparently scheduled for the June7, 2011 meeting of the Board of Supervisors but the item was pulled from the agenda without explanation.

Read the full article here.