Our 280-megawatt California Flats solar project located on the Jack Ranch produces enough clean, renewable energy to displace 109,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually
California Flats - Jack Ranch
Encompassing nearly 3,000 acres of the Jack Ranch, the 280-megawatt California Flats solar project produces enough clean, renewable energy to displace over 109,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – the equivalent of taking 22,000 cars off the road. This electricity is being purchased under long-term contract by Apple for their Cupertino, CA headquarters and Pacific Gas & Electric.
The Jack Ranch was first identified as being highly suitable for renewable energy production in California’s Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative in 2009, with Hearst initiating active development in 2010. The California Flats project achieved commercial operation in 2019. From the outset, this utility-scale solar project was designed specifically to be compatible with sustainable grazing on the balance of the 73,000-acre Jack Ranch, owned by Hearst since 1965. As over one million individual solar modules produce carbon-free electricity, cattle still move and graze freely between the arrays, while sheep manage the natural forage on the interior. Additionally, in contrast to many other utility-scale solar projects, California Flats is not visible from any public roads.
Additionally, California Flats’ owner – Arevon – is now operating a 60-megawatt battery storage system utilizing eighty-four Tesla Megapack units. This system, completed in late 2021, stores electricity produced by California Flats and dispatches it into the grid during periods of peak demand.
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.