Big mixed-use development planned for Hanford along Hwy. 198 | Around Kings County

Property owners on the north side of Hwy 198 between 11th and 12th avenues have filed an ambitious plan for a large mixed-use project just under 40 acres being processed by the City of Hanford. Named Hanford Place, consultant firm QK has submitted for a conditional use permit and mitigated negative declaration on the project. No developer or medical agent has been named.

The proposed project would include the following: a 22,525-square-foot ambulatory surgery center; a 12,445-square-foot specialty clinic; two 12,445-square-foot medical office buildings; a 12,445- square-foot psychiatric health facility; a 100,000-square-foot, a four-story 105-room hotel with a conference center and pool; a 35,000-square-foot nursing college; a 54,611-square-foot skilled nursing facility; a 34,480-square-foot memory care facility; a 34,380-square-foot assisted living facility; a three-story 90-unit multi-family apartment; 41,500 square feet of medical/commercial uses; and a five-acre bio infiltration basin. The application says construction should begin in March of 2024.

New vehicle registrations in California are predicted to approach 1.8 million units this year and increase 6.9 percent from 2022 according to the California New Car Dealers Assn.

Following three years of below average sales, pent-up demand is at elevated levels as the volume of postponed purchases continues to grow. This will be the driving force for the market for the remainder of the year, say the dealers. Weakening consumer affordability will hold back the release of pent-up demand, but improving vehicle inventories should be sufficient to push sales above current levels.

New light vehicle registrations in California increased 5.8 percent in the first quarter of this year versus the year earlier, slightly below the 8.4 percent improvement in national sales. New vehicle registrations in the state increased for the second consecutive quarter in 1Q ’23. Prior to the fourth quarter of last year, the market declined by more than 10 percent for four consecutive quarters. California’s new vehicle market is predicted to increase higher than last year’s results in the remaining three quarters of this year.

 Among items of interest, estimated electric vehicle market share approached 20 percent in 1Q ’23; Tesla Model Y was Best-Seller in California; Best Full Size Pickup: Ford F-Series; Toyota retained the title of Top Selling Brand in California in 1Q ’23.

Wonderful Renewable Energy, LLC filed an application for a development code text change to allow for permitted uses in the Light Industrial (IL) zone district to be permitted in the Rural Commercial (CR) zone district subject to the approval of a Site Plan Review zoning permit. Wonderful wants to establish a biomass wood yard to manage wood or nut waste for biomass conversion to power generation. The Kings County Planning Commission approved the application this month.

The Wonderful Company is the world’s largest almond and pistachio grower, generating 250,000 tons of nut waste per year, made up of wood, hulls and shells). The industry is looking to turn these liabilities into carbon-negative revenue via reliable electricity and bio-char production. Besides waste nuts and shells, the company removes large numbers of trees each year including thousands of nut tree acres due the drought, anticipating a lack of water to sustain some orchards. The Wonderful Company announced in 2019 it will use 100 percent renewable electricity across all its U.S. operations by 2025.

Cotton mapping for the San Joaquin Valley by CDFA was completed the week of June 1, 2023 confirming lower planting estimates in each county.

The current total mapped acreage for the SJV is 93,229 acres (down from 125,449 acres in 2022). The breakdown of cotton acreage is 30,799 acres in Fresno County (down from 34,290 acres in 2022), 7,226 acres in Kern County (down from 9,591 acres in 2022), 34,701 acres in Kings County (down from 46,988 acres in 2022), 18,875 acres in Merced County (down from 29,113 acres in 2022), 86 acres in Madera County (down from 254 acres in 2022), and 1,542 acres in Tulare County (down from 5,213 acres in 2022)

German power generation company RWE has announced that it has linked its 137MW utility-scale battery energy storage system (BESS), called Fifth Standard, to the California independent system operator. Located in western Fresno County, the BESS project is the company’s largest facility to date in the US. The project also includes a 150MWac solar PV facility, which is expected to be completed in August 2023.

It will feature 369,334 solar photovoltaic panels covering 1,600 acres. The facility will power 26,000 homes in the region and support California’s clean energy goals as the state works toward its net-zero target of 2045. The excess energy will not be sent to the grid, but instead will be stored in an on-site lithium-ion battery energy storage facility with up to 548 megawatt-hours of capacity. The power storage system will allow the plant to maximize its value by releasing solar energy when electric demand is highest.

RWE Clean Energy CEO Mark Noyes stated: “Projects like Fifth Standard, with its co-located battery storage system, will become increasingly important to help ensure that as renewables form a bigger part of the energy mix, the electricity produced can be used when it is needed most.

“In our case, future growth is backed by a project development pipeline comprising more than 24GW in onshore wind, solar and battery storage, one of the largest in the US.”

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