PowerButte is the face of Butte County’s commitment to encourage renewable energy and to support its General Plan and Climate Action Plan. Here, you will find information about Butte County’s plans to develop a Guide to Utility Scale Solar. PowerButte is your online source of information on innovative programs that are helping to make Butte County a Place for Clean Energy. This effort will serve as a vehicle to engage, educate, and learn from the public about the context for, and trade-offs with, the promotion of solar energy in Butte County.
Utility-Scale Solar Guide

Follow Along the Journey of our Project in the eBinder

Note that some of the information in the eBinder and other locations  refers to the Solar Overlay Zone.  This was a part of the process involved in this project.  The Solar Overlay Zone approach was ultimately replaced with the PowerButte Utility Scale Solar Guide project based upon input from the public and direction from the Board of Supervisors.

The Butte County Board of Supervisors will be reviewing the  Butte Utility-Scale Solar Guide at the following time and place:

September 26, 2017 @ 9:40 am
25 County Center Drive, Oroville

Board Staff Report (Coming Soon)

Download the entire Final Draft Butte Utility Scale Solar Guide Here:

Butte Utility Scale Solar Guide  To be presented to the Board of Supervisors  on  September 26, 2017 (PDF - 48  MB)

Individual Sections:

Table of Contents (1 MB)

1.     Welcome (5 MB)

2.     State and Local Context (6 MB)

3.     Development and Design Guidelines (28 MB)

4.     Permitting Processes (4 MB)

5.     Community Benefits (3 MB)

6.     Future Trends and Creative Approaches (4 MB)

Back Cover

Butte Utility Scale Solar Guide Mapping Tool (link provided below)

To support project proponents in identifying optimal sites for utility-scale solar, Butte County created a mapping tool (link provided below).  The mapping tool displays many different geographic factors that can affect the suitability of a site for solar facility development. If you are considering developing a utility-scale solar facility in Butte County, please use the mapping tool prior to submitting an application. The tool is designed to help inform property owners and developers about optimal areas for utility-scale solar facilities within the county, as well as potential constraints to solar facility development.

The mapping tool incorporates a wide range of datasets to identify opportunity areas that the County considers most conducive for solar facility development, as well as constraint areas where conditions are present that demand careful planning and design. The mapping tool also identifies unsuitable areas, where solar facility development is prohibited under the current Zoning Ordinance or where the County considers solar facility development to be incompatible with existing resources or site conditions.

Using the dozens of datasets incorporated into the mapping tool, the County also conducted a site suitability analysis to identify the locations in Butte County with the best attributes for utility-scale solar facility development. The results of that analysis are available in the mapping tool, with the darker colors identifying the most suitable areas in the county. Please note that all utility-scale solar development is subject to a conditional use permit (CUP) and may not necessarily be approved, even if the project is located in a desirable area based upon the suitability analysis.

Detailed information about the methodology for the site suitability analysis is available here.

Draft Utility Scale Solar Mapping Tool Web Application

Additional Background and Staff Reports

Staff Report for the August 10, 2017 Planning Commission meeting

Staff Report for November 10, 2016 Planning Commission Meeting

Staff Report for September 22, 2016 Planning Commission Meeting (PDF - 4.11MB)

Community Meeting Summary on the Solar Overlay Zone from the following meetings.

May 5, 2016, 5:30 PM
Lakeside Pavilion
2565 California Park Drive

May 9, 2016, 5:30 PM
Southside Community Center
2959 Lower Wyandotte Road

May 10, 2016, 5:30 PM
Butte College Main Campus Cafeteria

Solar Overlay Project Vision and Guiding Principles

NOTE:  The Project is funded through the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and Incentives Program administered by the Department of Conservation.