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Element Power proposes Antelope Valley wind and solar farm

Nothing says Alfalfa Festival like solar panels and wind turbines.

So says Element Power U.S., the Portland, Ore.-based renewable power company sponsoring this year’s festival paired with the Antelope Valley Fair later this month.

Maybe it has something to do with the company trying to butter up the community, where it’s planning to erect a 230-megawatt green energy facility with solar and wind generation abilities. The planned installation is very prettily and non-threateningly named “Wildflower” and is set for 2,200 private acres of former grazing land where the current property owner operates a horse ranch.

The company will have to tread carefully – wind energy and solar power projects proposed in California often attract opposition from residents worried about encroachment, or animal rights advocates concerned about endangered species and others with a host of complaints.

Element said Monday that it had filed an application for the project with the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning. The company is gearing up for environmental studies and research on how much local property tax revenue will be linked to the proposed facility.

The wind and solar farm, to be located 70 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, is expected to create more than 300 jobs during construction in an area currently suffering a 17% unemployment rate. The site will produce enough power for more than 70,000 California homes, which will be sold to a utility through a power purchase agreement.