The solar project on the Jack Ranch, owned by the Hearst Corporation, serves as a groundbreaking model for clean energy production, innovative land management, and stewardship by generating enough clean energy to power 100,000 homes. Spanning 2,900 acres, the California Flats solar project was thoughtfully designed as an alternative revenue source for the ranch that is compatible with existing agricultural operations. To offset the project’s environmental impact and protect sensitive species’ habitat, multiple mitigation agreements, held by the Rangeland Trust, were recorded on 7,300 acres of the Jack Ranch.
The solar project subsidizes the cattle operation at Jack Ranch, while helping to stave off future development pressure. This is very good news for the families who work and live on the ranch, the many species of plants and wildlife thriving on these acres, and the millions of Californians who benefit from the resources the ranch helps project. It also is good for the environment, as the solar project was designed to generate enough clean energy to displace over 109,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year – comparable to taking 22,000 cars off the road.
The Rangeland Trust is proud to have played a role in this venture which demonstrates the importance of conserving rangeland and gives insight into the future of large-scale sustainability projects on ranches.