California Flats – Jack Ranch
After thirty months of intensive construction on approximately 2,900 acres of the 73,000-acre Jack Ranch, both phases of the California Flats solar project – totaling 280 megawatts – are in commercial operation as of April 2019. Over 1,000,000 individual solar modules are now producing clean, renewable electricity being purchased under long-term contract by Apple (for their Cupertino, CA headquarters and other facilities) and Pacific Gas & Electric.
The completion of this utility-scale solar project represents a major milestone for Hearst, First Solar and Capital Dynamics, the project owner. The Jack Ranch was first identified as highly-suitable for renewable energy production in California’s Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative in 2009, with active development beginning in 2010. Countless hours have been invested by Hearst and our partners in bringing this sizable, complicated project to fruition – a project which complements existing grazing operations and generates enough renewable energy to serve the needs of about 100,000 homes per year, displacing over 109,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – the equivalent of taking about 22,000 cars off the road. In contrast to many other utility-scale solar projects in California, California Flats is not visible from any public roads.
In addition to producing clean, renewable energy, California Flats provides Hearst with an alternative source of revenue ensuring the Jack Ranch will remain an intact, working landscape for many decades to come.