Revised Engagement Guide for reviewing OPALCO’s proposed solar project

Submitted by San Juan County

San Juan County’s Department of Community Development is postponing the public hearing examiner meeting for OPALCO’s Bailer Hill micro-grid and battery installation project while waiting for all additional information requested of the applicant on March 28. The future hearing examiner meeting date is to be determined.

Written public comment will continue to be accepted by the department, however, the Hearing Examiner will not be able to open the record for verbal public testimony on April 24. Once DCD receives enough information to complete SEPA determination and continue with the review process, a new hearing date will be published where verbal testimony will be accepted.

Why is the hearing postponed?

DCD initially published a notice of application (with the expected Hearing Examiner Meeting date) on March 12 and 13. On March 28, DCD staff requested additional information from OPALCO based on comments received as of March 12, third-party review received as of March 18, and recent SEPA review findings.

Between Wednesday, April 3 and Friday, April 12, OPALCO and DCD discussed reasonable timelines and procedural requirements related to the initially scheduled hearing date. OPALCO and DCD agreed to postpone the hearing without a specific rescheduling date while OPALCO gathers documentation in response to all items raised in the March 28 correspondence.

How does postponing impact public engagement?

Written public comment opened on March 13 and continues to be accepted for this project (see comments submitted as of April 3, 2024). Please continue to send public comments to

Anyone expecting to make verbal public testimony for this project on April 24, will need to wait until the hearing is rescheduled. Project documents will continue to be posted for public review using the links and references in this news flash (below).

How will I know when the hearing is rescheduled for?

Once outstanding requests for additional information have been sufficiently addressed, a new notice will be published in print as required by County Code. This news flash post will also be updated help the public keep apprised of this ongoing review process.

An updated Summary of Important Information and Resources is available at the bottom of this news flash. Also, the original release has been corrected regarding what ‘SEPA’ stands for. ‘SEPA’ is an acronym for State Environmental Policy Act.