WHY SOLAR AND WIND FARMS MATTERS
CEC envisions a future where 100% of our electricity is generated from clean, renewable, and local sources to power our homes, businesses, and cars. In our 2007 white paper, New Energy Direction: a Blueprint for Santa Barbara County we show that the abundant availability of sun and wind in our region can provide more than enough renewable energy to meet our needs.
Our region is a “sweet spot” for solar power — we’re blessed with the ideal combination of abundant sunny days and south-facing coastlines. CEC believes Santa Barbara county, along with solar-friendly Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties, can lead the nation in solar installations. CEC is charging the solar movement by making it easier for people and businesses to install solar power, and advocating for larger, more long-term solar power solutions.
We could power a sizable part of our region’s energy needs with more solar farms farms like the one being built in Cuyama, and wind farms like the one approved in Lompoc. Taking advantage of the strength of the wind power industry and geographic potential in our region, CEC is advocating for more responsible wind power as a cost-competitive renewable energy resource.
WHAT CEC IS DOING
Promoting large, local, and responsible solar projects
CEC advocates for responsible projects in our region, including solar for government buildings and solar that feeds our electric grid. We helped Santa Barbara County approve its first utility-scale solar project, the 40 watt Cuyama Solar Farm, which will break ground in 2015.
Enabling small wind projects
CEC is working with Santa Barbara County on a small wind project ordinance and permitting process, which would add both flexibility and quality standards to small wind projects on rural property. Read our small wind white paper (pdf).
Standardizing the wind power industry
CEC is thinking ahead by tracking small wind certifications from industry groups. Why is this important? Right now there is no single standard in certification for small wind power, which may cause complications as the industry grows.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Install Wind Power
If you’re looking to install small wind on your property, make sure you’re getting what you pay for with a certified turbine. Read more from the Small Wind Certification Council.
Share Your Story
If you have installed small wind power on your property or ranch, we’d like to hear about your experience. Contact Jefferson Litten.