In an effort to help California meet its alternative energy production goal, Senator Blakeslee has authored SB 370, a bill that helps the agricultural community meet their own energy efficiency goals.

“Protecting the environment and smart business practices can go hand and hand in California,” said Senator Blakeslee. “Harnessing solar energy will save farmers and their neighbors in energy costs and reduce the entire community’s carbon footprint.”

This bill allows small scale alternative energy producers to store excess energy generated by wind turbines or PV (photo voltaic) cells collected during peak times, and store it for use during seasons when renewable sources do not generate as much electricity.  Currently, this excess electricity is gathered by electric companies and channeled into the power grid to distribute at cost to consumers. 

Farm owners who have wind turbines or PV panels on their property are already a contributing source of renewable energy generation.  Farms in sunny areas of the state have the potential to generate significant amounts of peak summertime solar power, offsetting their own off-peak use, and thereby benefiting other ratepayers by reducing peak demand.  If Senator Blakeslee’s SB 370 is passed, it would allow these agricultural customers a “roll over” plan for their excess produced energy similar to a cell phone roll over plan. 

Last year, while in the State Assembly, Blakeslee authored AB 51, a similar bill.  That bill passed through the Assembly but was halted in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Now in the Senate, Blakeslee is putting the same issue on the table, hopeful that the agricultural community will be allowed to continue its vital contributions to promoting alternative energy production.

For more information about this important bill, and other legislation the Senator is carrying, please contact our office in Sacramento at 916-651-4015.