Kern County Protects Farmland from Solar Development
Kern County’s Board of Supervisors has voted to protect high quality farmland from solar development in an effort to balance agricultural production with the need for renewable solar energy.
The Bakersfield Californian highlighted the most significant aspects of the policy:
- California Department of Conservation classifications of farmland will determine if mitigation will be required for the loss of agricultural land
- The most stringent mitigation requirements will be on lands designated as prime farmland, unique farmland or farmland of statewide importance that have been farmed in at least five of the last ten years.
- Mitigation will range from one to 1.5 acres of farmland for each acre of designated farmland converted into solar facilities.
The Kern County policy is designed to make the costs of developing on farmland transparent from the beginning of solar project development while also helping to guide solar development away from the best and most productive soils in the county.