A Snapshot Of The Valley's Future

I'm going to borrow from the format of my former Fresno Bee colleague Bill McEwen, and note some San Joaquin Valley energy news and links that flashed across my computer screen in recent days.

In deference to Bill's always-interesting platter of newsy and often political nuggets that he labels "Breakfast links," I'll simply call my shorter version a "smattering of stuff."

I'll begin with the north end of the San Joaquin Valley, where electric vehicle manufacturer EVI credits a state grant for its ability to hire 50 employees. (Business Wire).

Environmental groups sue over alleged animal habitat issues associated with a solar project proposed for the Carrizo Plain in San Luis Obispo County, just west of us. The authors note similar concerns with solar plants proposed for the Mojave Desert, but not with projects eyed for the Central Valley. (KCET.)

The EPA exempts a natural gas power plant proposed for Avenal from new air pollution rules (New York Times.)

A Hanford dairy adds 4 acres of solar panels to become one of the first milk farms in Kings County to go with sun power. (Hanford Sentinel.)

One county over, in Visalia, a new biofuel plant breaks ground, courtesy of a $20 million federal grant. (sierra2thesea).

The Valley has lots of sun and land suitable for clean-energy projects, and it is close to major population centers. As this list shows, energy can be an economic game changer for us.