POWERBUTTE
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 on the Butte Utility-Scale Solar Guide, and ongoing efforts to prepare Butte County for climate change impacts. PowerButte is your online source of information on innovative programs that are helping to make Butte County A Place for Clean Energy.
Utility-Scale Solar Guide and Mapping Tool

Butte Utility-Scale Solar Guide

Butte County Solar Guide Cover

The Butte County  Board of Supervisors approved the Butte Utility-Scale Solar Guide on September 26, 2017 on a 5-0 vote.  The Butte Utility-Scale Solar Guide is a component of the PowerButte initiative and is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about utility-scale solar facilities within unincorporated Butte County, including landowners, developers, community members, and decision-makers. The Guide includes sections regarding Butte County's Vision for utility-scale solar facility development , Guiding Principles, Entitlement Process, State and Local Context, Opportunities and Constraints, Recommended Standards and Design Guidelines, a GIS Mapping Tool, Community Benefits and Future Trends/Creative Approaches.

Board of Supervisors Solar Guide Staff Report

Butte Utility Scale Solar Guide  (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 

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 in a document available here.

Butte Utility Scale Solar Mapping Tool Web Application

Additional Background and Staff Reports are available in the E-Binder 

Butte Utility Scale Solar Guide Vision and Guiding Principles

 

 

 

The Butte Utility Scale Solar Guide project was funded through the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant

and Incentives Program administered by the Department of Conservation