Photovoltaic Farm Proposed In County Area Just Outside Twentynine Palms

(January 9)  TWENTYNINE PALMS — With the removal of the county’s moratorium on commercial solar projects in San Bernardino County, a Chinese company with its American headquarters in Silicon Valley has applied to construct a 1.5 megawatt solar plant just outside the Twentynine Palms city limits.
Clean Focus, based in Beijing and headed by chairman John Chang and president and CEO Stanley Chin, represents the investment firm GSR Ventures, a venture capital fund with substantial operations in China that invests primarily in early stage technology companies.
Clean Focus specializes in financing and leasing solar power installations in the commercial, government, and utility sectors, and works with system integrators to identify economically compelling solar projects and provide financing through power purchase agreements or long-term leases.
John Chang has experience with start-up and multinational companies, including a solar photovoltaic start-up and an energy-management services provider. He co-founded a casino slot-machine manufacturer in Shanghai and worked with Chin on the merger of his company, StarCite, with OnVantage to form what he said is the dominant player in cloud-based meeting-management technology.
Slightly less than a year ago, the city of Twentynine Palms prohibited commercial solar power plants within city limits. The project is to be located on unincorporated county land on a 12-acre portion of a 160-acre site on the southeast corner of Raymond Drive and Mesquite Springs Road, putting it under the jurisdiction of the county’s land use services division.
The land is zoned for rural living, which is deemed suitable for solar project development based on the county’s newly adopted commercial solar development guidelines. Twentynine Palms officials have said they will raise an objection to the project, which is to utilize photovoltaic cells to generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity.
County officials are accepting comments on the proposal until January 14.  No public hearing on the proposal has been set. Citizens can weigh in on the project by emailing them to, faxing them to (909) 387-3223 or mailing them to 385 North Arrowhead Avenue, First Floor, San Bernardino, Calif., 992415-0182.

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