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February 5, 2013

How much cropland is being lost to build solar farms in the U.S.?

  • Solar developers are focused on areas like California's San Joaquin Valley for the same reason as farmers: It's flat and sunny.
    Associated Press

    FRESNO, Calif. — There's a land rush of sorts going on across the nation's most productive farming region, but these buyers don't want to grow crops. They want to plant solar farms.

    With California mandating that 33 percent of electricity be generated from renewables by the end of the decade, there are 227 proposed solar projects in the pipeline statewide. Coupled with wind and other renewables they would generate enough electricity to meet 100 percent of California's power needs on an average summer day, the California Independent System Operator says.

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