The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody
staff writer 

Renewable energy topic at local Rotary

Rotary Club of Tehachapi


November 21, 2020

Photo provided

Don Grafton.

At their November 12 meeting, the Tehachapi Rotary Club welcomed to their online meeting Don Grafton, Solar General Manager for BHE Renewables. Grafton was joined by Paulette Rush, BHE's community relations specialist. Berkshire Hathaway is the parent corporation of BHE Energy and BHE Renewables is a division of BHE Energy.

Grafton said that 10 years ago wind energy locally produced about nine megawatts of power compared with the over 3,000 megawatts that is produced today. BHE began the Pinon Pines Windfarm in 2012 and has now operated the Solar Star 579-megawatt photovaltaic station in Rosamond for two years. They have solar installations all the way from Los Angeles to South Carolina, as well as in India and the Middle East.

Grafton outlined other alternative power operations as well including a geo-thermal project in the Imperial Valley operated by CalEnergy and Topaz, a 550-megawatt installation located in northwest San Luis Obispo county.

BHE Renewables has been a long-time supporter of Tehachapi. They are a member of the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce and Paulette Rush has been on the board of the Greater Tehachapi Economic Development Council for many years and is also on the Police Foundation. BHE has been a major sponsor of Cheers to Charity, the TVRPD Fishing Derby and GranFondo, Tehachapi Arts Commission Art 2021 and AAUW's Tech Trek as well as the robotics program at our local elementary schools.

The Rotary Club of Tehachapi is a volunteer service organization with the motto "Service Above Self." The club has 30 members and are currently meeting virtually on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. If you would like more information about Rotary Club, you can visit their Facebook page at or contact club President Chris Naftel at (661) 221-2137.


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