Project Description and Background
On September 15, 2020, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors adopted the 2040 General Plan and certified the project’s Environmental Impact Report and related documents. The adopted 2040 General Plan became effective on October 15, 2020 and is currently in the implementation stage. In support of General Plan Programs COS-O, Assessment of Land Near Electrical Transmission and Distribution Lines, HAZ-O, Solar Concentration Restriction, and Policy EV-4.4, Renewable Energy Facilities, the Ventura County Resource Management Agency prepared the Renewable Energy Program Siting Assessment. This study identified undeveloped and underutilized sites within the unincorporated areas of the southern half of Ventura County that are suitable for grid-scale renewable energy projects consisting of ground-mounted solar arrays, wind turbines, and battery energy storage projects.
On September 26, 2023, the Board of Supervisors reviewed a staff report, the Assessment, and heard a staff presentation along with public comment from potential energy operators, community stakeholders, and a representative from Southern California Edison. After consideration of public comment and deliberation, the Board directed staff to return with another proposal based on the guidance provided.
The link to the September 26, 2023 Board Hearing Materials is provided below. Please see, Agenda Item No. 75.
Planning Director Use Equivalency Determination
On November 29, 2023 the Planning Director issued a Use Equivalency Determination pursuant to NCZO Section 8105-2 (Equivalent Uses Not Listed) that found that grid-scale battery energy storage is an equivalent principal use to both the “energy production from renewable resources” use category in NCZO sections 8105-4 and 8105-5, and the “warehousing and storage” use category in NCZO section 8105-5 (Exhibit 2). Until an amendment to the NCZO can be prepared and presented for adoption to expressly add battery energy storage to the NCZO as a principal land use, applications for the use shall be processed and authorized in the same manner as 1) an “energy production from renewable energy” project in the OS, AE, and RA zones with a Planning Commission-approved CUP, and 2) a “warehousing and storage” project in the M1, M2, M3, and IND zones with a Planning Director-approved PD permit. Please click on the link below to access the Use Equivalency Determination.
On December 19, 2023 the Board of Supervisors will conduct a study session to review the revised recommendations and provide further guidance. This webpage will be updated with a link to the hearing materials when they are available.
Planning Staff Contact