Aspen managed the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Topaz Solar Farm proposed by Topaz Solar Farms LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Solar, Inc. The project consisted of the construction and operation of a 550-megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant in Carrizo Plain, an unincorporated portion of eastern San Luis Obispo County. The applicant applied to the County of San Luis Obispo for a Conditional Use Permit to allow a solar power plant as a permitted use on the site. This project also included a Tentative Tract Map application to address several illegally created parcels on the project site as well as evaluation of PG&E proposed transmission upgrades and switching station, and consideration of a land swap with the US Bureau of Land Management. Aspen also prepared a wildlife corridor study, a fiscal impact study, SB 610 water assessment, and construction traffic assessment.
The EIR evaluated two project options, which were identified by the applicant to address public concerns. The study areas for each option ranged from 6,300 to 7,800 acres to allow flexibility in the final design of the project. However, the solar arrays would be installed over an approximate 4,000‑ to 4,100‑acre site depending on the project option.