KESQ News Channel 3
By Sam Benson Smith CALIPATRIA, Calif.- - On Wednesday, the Imperial Irrigation District announced what it's calling "one of the largest low-income community solar projects in the nation." The program in its current form aims to serve over 12,000 electric customers and is set to help provide relief in the form of reduced monthly bills under its Residential Energy Assistance Program (REAP) and new eGreen Program. "Today we celebrate the joining of forces between IID and Citizens to help provide clean, locally generated, renewable energy to thousands of people in the Imperial and Coachella valleys, all of whom will also receive additional monthly savings on their energy bills," Erik Ortega, president of the IID Board of Directors said via news release. The announcement was made during a news conference in Calipatria which was attended by state senator Jeff Stone, executive director of the California Energy Commission Drew Bohan, and former congressman and Citizens Energy chairman and founder Joseph P. Kennedy II. "Citizens Energy is proud and excited to continue to bring the benefits of the green revolution to low-income households in the IID service territory," said Kennedy. "This project is a win-win-win: It's good for the planet, good for low-income families, and fulfills the mission of IID and Citizens Energy to serve those in need." The 107,000 solar panel module project will be located on a 200-acre plot of IID-owned land near the district's Midway Substation near Calipatria. Citizens Energy estimates that facility construction will cost $46 million.