The California Senate took an important step last week to facilitate the state’s transition from dirty fossil fuel energy to 100% clean, renewable energy sources. SB 49 (Becker), which would site solar panels and other clean energy infrastructure along the state’s highways, passed in resounding fashion with a unanimous, 40-0 vote in the Senate.
SB 49, sponsored by Environment California, would repurpose already-developed spaces along freeways as sites for solar panels. It would create a strategic plan to lease land in rights-of-way for developing renewable energy generation, energy storage and transmission lines. This plan would analyze how much space along highways is suitable for solar power infrastructure and set targets for the amount of solar developed by 2030 and 2045.
Thank you to President Atkins, Sen. Becker, and all Senators who helped pass this important bill.
California has long been a leader in harnessing the clean energy potential of solar power, and solar panels are an increasingly common feature on rooftops throughout the state. However, we must take advantage of additional areas to accommodate solar infrastructure quickly with little controversy. Using the space beside highways for solar is a proven way to generate clean, renewable energy that can also generate significant revenue for the state.
In addition to the strong bipartisan approval from the California Senate, the federal government deemed this commonsense solution a “net-zero game changer” that can help keep California’s climate commitments on track.
Next, we must make sure SB 49 passes the California Assembly to fulfill the state’s potential to go solar along highways. Tell your state legislator to support putting solar along highways and over parking lots.
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