Energy & Environment

California moves to protect tricolored blackbird

(AP) — California has extended emergency endangered species protection to the dwindling tricolored blackbird, which often faces danger as it nests in dairy silage fields in the central part of the state.

Mendota getting Valley's first modular substation

ModPower's modular substation built for KeySpan Energy in New EnglandA new concept in energy distribution is reaching the Central Valley with the modular substation being installed for the North Star solar project near Mendota.

Report highlights Valley's clean economy

Helped by its knowledge of water and agriculture, the San Joaquin Valley has become a driving leader in the clean economy, according to a new report by Next 10.

Composting program, acquisition prime hauler for growth

Mid Valley Disposal unveiled its new organics recycling bins at The Big Fresno Fair this year. Food vendors were provided with a green bin to toss their food waste during the fair’s 13-day run. Through the effort, 141 tons of organic waste was diverted from going to the landfill.While not yet in full swing, Mid Valley Disposal’s new composting operation is turning the Central Valley on to the possibilities of organic material recycling.

Dry Tulare County town gets portable showers 

In this photo taken Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, Tulare County Fifth District Supervisor Mike Ennis, left, speaks with Tulare County Office of Emergency Services director Andrew Lockman at the site where portable showers have been placed in East Porterville, Calif. Hundreds of people living in the drought-stricken California farm town could soon be taking their first hot shower in months after county officials set up the portable facilities in a church parking lot. Until now, many have been forced to bathe from buckets and drink bottled water. (Rick Elkins, AP / The Porterville Recorder)(AP) — Hundreds of people living in a drought-stricken California farm town could soon be taking their first hot shower in months after county officials set up portable facilities in a church parking lot.

Beet ethanol demonstration project to begin next month

Fresno State’s laboratory farm is growing “energy beets” for use by a demonstration project to convert the crop into ethanol.A new source of transportation fuel may soon flow from the Central Valley if a pilot-scale biorefinery wrapping up later this year in Fresno County proves successful in converting thousands of tons of beets into ethanol.

Kingsburg, Reedley and Sanger join HERO program

Three more Fresno County communities have joined the HERO (Home Energy Renovation Opportunity) program giving property owners in Kingsburg, Reedley and Sanger a new financing tool to make water and energy improvements.

Koehler to resign from San Joaquin Parkway trust

Dave Koehler, executive director of the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, announced he is stepping down from his position next June.

Board levies $18K penalty on former Fresno cleaners

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has ordered a former Fresno dry cleaner to pay $18,000 for violating a state order.

GRID Alternatives finishes fifth Solarthon in Madera

GRID Alternatives' fifth Central Valley Solarthon wrapped up this week in Madera, installing rooftop solar panels on homes for eight low-income families. Nonprofit solar installer GRID Alternatives wrapped up its fifth Central Valley Solarthon in Madera yesterday with volunteers putting solar energy systems on rooftops for eight low-income families.