In honor of Earth Day, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday joined with elected officials, environmentalists and Irvine Company executives to announce that 40,000 acres of the Irvine Ranch Land Reserve is being designated the first-ever California natural landmark. Following this announcement, the Governor also participated in the launch of Frito-Lay North America's new solar concentrator field at its Modesto manufacturing facility. ( GCG )
"Today's actions show what we can accomplish when passionate individuals and all levels of government cooperate and work together," Governor Schwarzenegger said. "This is exactly why Earth Day is so very special in California. Our level of commitment to preservation and innovation is unmatched."
The Irvine Ranch Land Reserve is the first to be designated through the California Natural Landmarks program since the Governor signed AB 2900 by Assemblymember George Plescia (R-San Diego) in 2006 creating the program. The goal of this voluntary program is to help preserve the ecological and geographical characteristics of California while helping protect history and natural heritage.
"The first ever California natural landmark is wonderful news," Governor Schwarzenegger said. "Only in California can you see a 40,000-acre natural landmark right in the middle of one of the nation's most vibrant and economically important urban areas."
The Frito-Lay North America project will be the largest solar thermal system in the country. Today marks the completion of the first half of the company's plan to install 54,000 square feet of solar thermal on a five-acre field. Once the second half of the project is completed in July, the 192 panels will produce enough heat for the plant's boiler to produce 145,000 bags of SunChips a day. The project is a public-private partnership with the California Energy Commission providing $700,000 in funds.
"I commend Frito-Lay and the California Energy Commission for working hand-in-hand to build this innovative project," Governor Schwarzenegger said. "The plant will harness the power of Central Valley sunshine to reduce its natural gas use, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions-all while helping us meet our renewable energy goals."