In the heart of California’s farm country, solar farm operations are steadily expanding, absorbing significant amounts of valuable agricultural real estate.
Energy production has been a major part of federal farm policy for the past several years. Since Tom Vilsack took over at the US Department of Agriculture, he has put increasing renewable energy production at the center of his tenure in office. In addition to mandating ethanol production, the USDA has increased funding to wind and solar energy production.
Various states are looking into green energy production as well. In California, state officials recently mandated that 33 percent of electricity be produced via solar energy by the end of the decade.
In order to reach this mandate, California solar energy producers are rapidly expanding, building major solar farms across the state. The increased building has led to a land rush of sorts. In the San Joaquin Valley, for example, four of the largest farming counties already have more than 100 solar plants occupying about 40,000 acres of land.
Follow us on: Twitter
Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer