The California Land Conservation Act of 1965 protects roughly half of the state’s 30 million acres of farmland from development. New state legislation was recently proposed to modify California’s longstanding farmland conservation law, which could pave the way for large swaths of farm acreage to be repurposed as sites for renewable energy projects.

Assembly Bill 2528 seeks to align the state’s renewable energy and groundwater management goals.

The proposed legislation would allow landowners in high- and medium-priority groundwater basins — those judged to have the least sustainable groundwater supplies — to petition their city or county to cancel their Williamson Act contracts. Those basins cover most of the Central Valley, the Salinas Valley and other regions that produce much of the nation’s fresh produce.

Read more about California’s proposal to convert farmland here.