Date of Award

6-2015

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning

Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Dr. Adrienne Greve

Abstract

The lack of a comprehensive database for both concentrating and photovoltaic utility-scale solar power projects, those with a generation capacity of greater than 50 MW, hinders the ability of researchers and policy makers to examine the state of solar development in the state of California. This research project seeks to fill this gap in understanding by creating a database of proposed and developed projects in order to examine trends in proposals, process time, approvals, and construction starts. Existing literature was evaluated to determine potential factors for project success in approval and construction. Upon determination of these factors, the project database was developed through use of publicly available data and extensive Internet searches of planning documents, industry releases, and articles on existing and proposed projects. The completed database, containing eighty projects, was analyzed to provide an initial look at the overall state of solar project development in California. This report details these early findings as well as areas for further research. The analysis indicates that, while California has a high amount of proposed projects and generation capacity, many projects do not reach the end of the public approval process and fewer still enter construction and operation.

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