A 137-megawatt-dc photovoltaic solar power plant is scheduled to begin construction Thursday in the eastern Kern County community of Cantil.

The 700-acre Springbok 1 Solar Farm is being developed by Folsom-based 8minutenergy Renewables LLC.

Project officials have signed a power sales agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority on behalf of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Commercial operations are scheduled to start in June 2016.

Dignitaries expected to attend Thursday’s groundbreaking include House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, or a representative of his office; county Supervisor Zack Scrivner and California City Major Jennifer Wood.

A three-hour public workshop starting at 9 a.m. Thursday will look at efforts to prepare the local workforce to meet the needs of employers.

The second annual event at the Kern County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 1115 Truxtun Ave., will showcase the work of groups that have been meeting during the past year to produce local workforce development plans.

The workshop is being hosted by county Supervisor Leticia Perez.

Geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan has signed up to speak at the ninth annual Kern County Energy Summit Nov. 4 at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

Zeihan is the author of “The Accidental Superpower,” which addresses how the United States’ drive for energy independence can help its global dominance during the next quarter century.

Also speaking at the event will be Kern County Planning Director Lorelei Oviatt, a panel of local oil and gas industry representatives and people knowledgeable about recent innovations in nuclear and renewable energy technologies.

Tickets for the event cost $100, which includes lunch. Reservations can be made online at kedc.com, or by calling host Kern Economic Development Corp. at 862-5150.

The Olive Garden at 1701 New Stine Road will host a benefit Tuesday to support Garces Memorial High School.

The restaurant’s Spirit Night, set to run from 4 to 10 p.m., will be followed by a donation from Olive Garden to Garces. Guests are encouraged to wear the school’s colors.

The event, put on in partnership with high school sports media company NFHS Network, is one of more than 800 similar events nationwide in which an Olive Garden will dedicate an evening to supporting a local high school.

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