The Climate Solutions Advocacy Institute (CSAI) is an educational and advocacy program that creates transformative climate solutions and legislation in university law and environmental science schools, and then build the massive public awareness and grassroots political support needed to pass them in state legislatures.
 
CSAI is a project of the educational 501(c)3 non-profit Informing to Empower, a non partisan organization committed to building a stronger democracy.
 
We propose that the state legislature pass a new bill that would enable solar farms on drought-fallowed farmland to directly sell electricity for charging EVs.
 
During the next 20 years, this simple legislative action would empower private capital to finance one of the most important climate mitigation and climate justice innovations in history, without adding any additional demand on an electricity transmission bottleneck that today prevents California from achieving its mandated zero emission 2045 goals.
 
California utility law currently grants a single entity, like PG&E, the right to be the sole provider of electricity in their exclusive territory. This enabling legislation would create an exemption from that law for owners of state-licensed solar farms, allowing these farms to sell electricity directly to the public for charging electric vehicles. All electricity sales would be generated from on-site solar panels and batteries. Since these solar farms would not be connected to the transmission grid, they would bypass the CAISO bottleneck of up to eight years for new grid connections.
 
This legislation would be a major step in making electric vehicles affordable and accessible to working and middle class people, especially lower income renters without access to at-home charging stations.
 
This unique legislative “bypass the grid” solution means that California would be able to electrify our polluting transportation sector within the next few decades without taxing an already overburdened transmission grid.
 
The solution was developed in spring 2022 at the UC Davis School of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. In August, 2022, the University of California, Davis School of Law offered Law 285J – Drafting a Solar Farm Bill Practicum, to develop a legislative white paper for a new Solar Farm Expansion Program.
 
In September, 2022, a concurrent practicum course, open to all UC Davis grad students, called “Revolutionary Organizing for Climate Solution Implementation” (ECO 290/CRN: 29643), was taught by CSAI’s co-founders Jonathan Greenberg and Anthony Wexler, as well as Colin Murphy, Deputy Director of UC Davis’ Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy.
 
Both  classes researched and conducted direct outreach to numerous stakeholders, experts and organizations, to identify the challenges that have resulted in the deployment of only one-third the number of solar farms needed for the state’s carbon-free 2045 goals, as well as the most effective solutions to overcome these challenges.
 
CSAI’s collaborative law and environmental graduate practicum program will be followed by an  evolutionary media advocacy campaign to build the massive public awareness around a proposed transformative climate solution program that is necessary to have it supported by state legislators and implemented.

University of California Law School Dean Kevin R. Johnson explains why “climate change, environmental justice and protection of the environment are the civil rights issues of the 21st century.”

UC Davis Distinguished Professor Anthony Wexler explains how building massive solar farms on abandoned agricultural land in California’s Central Valley can prevent a dust bowl, while simultaneously meeting California’s clean energy needs.

Professor Wexler is co-founder of the Climate Solutions Advocacy Institute and a UC Davis Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Land Air, and Water Resources. He is also the Director of the Air Quality Research Center.