Fiscal year 2014-2015 planned activities
Potential State Teachers Retirement System Fund Revenues
Surface rental income
Staff estimates that surface rentals from existing and new surface leases on school land parcels during fiscal year 2013–14 will increase again during fiscal year 2014–15 due to the appreciation of land values. State Lands Commission also spent considerable amount of time and effort in gaining legislative approval for new higher base rents, which were approved by the legislature and went into effect on July 1, 2014.
There is potential for income from timber salvage and sanitation operations in fiscal year 2014–15. These operations are conducted periodically due to losses from natural causes such as fire, high winds, insect infestation and diseases. Because of the irregular nature of these operations, the amount of additional income from these sources is difficult to predict.
Renewable energy projects
With the passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the increase in public awareness about climate change, and the rise in energy prices, staff expects more interest in the long-term leasing of school lands for renewable energy projects. Some of these projects will involve utilization of wind as an energy source. These projects require the installation and operation of wind turbines that, if installed, would generate electricity that would be placed into the State’s electrical grid. Other renewable energy projects will utilize solar technology such as photovoltaic cells and solar-concentrating systems (troughs, towers, or dishes).
State Lands Commission plans to continue processing an application for a wind energy lease known as the Tule Wind Project, which was filed with in 2007. This proposed project involves more than 12,000 acres of lands located in eastern San Diego County, including federal lands administered by the BLM, private lands, tribal reservation lands of the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians, and 640 acres of school lands.
The Tule Wind Project was analyzed in a joint Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the California Public Utilities Commission (as the lead agency under CEQA) and the BLM (as the Lead Agency under the National Environmental Policy Act). In December 2011, the BLM issued a Record of Decision authorizing Phase I of the project which is located primarily on federal lands. Separate authorization from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for development for Phase II of the project on the nearby tribal lands was obtained in December, 2013. The proposed development of seven turbines on the State school land parcel is included in the proposed Phase II project. Staff currently is awaiting the completion of an appraisal of the subject property. If the project ultimately is approved by the CSLC and the lease is issued to allow construction and operation of the wind turbines, staff anticipates significant revenue from this lease beginning in fiscal year 2016–17.
United States of America land sale (SA 5767)
This sale is expected to close in fiscal year 2014–15 and the proceeds will be included in next year’s Annual Report. The sale will generate $806,500 for the SLBF.
California Department of Transportation land sale (SA 5770)
This sale closed early in fiscal year 2014–15. The sale generated $3,100 which was deposited into the SLBF and will be included in next year’s annual report