Officials from the Center for Irrigation Technology at California State University, Fresno will discuss financial incentives and technical services to help the agricultural industry reduce electrical use during peak hours at a news conference Friday at 10 a.m. on the patio at Fresno State’s Viticulture and Enology Research Center.

President John D. Welty, CIT Director David Zoldoske and Peter W. Canessa, CIT agricultural engineer, will explain Fresno State’s role in the agricultural Peak Load Reduction Program sponsored by the California Energy Commission.

The Center for Irrigation Technology is providing technical support to help administer the commission’s statewide $75 million grant program to assist farmers and agricultural businesses trying to reduce peak power loads.

Assembly member Sarah Reyes of Fresno, who supported the legislation creating the grant program, and Fresno County Farm Bureau president Paul Betancourt also will speak about the importance to farmers of the energy incentives.

The state program, announced by Gov. Davis on June 1, will partially pay for the purchase and installation of high-efficiency pumps and premium motors installed on or after Jan. 1. Additional projects to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems and to shift times of electricity use also qualify.

The Peak Load Reduction Program will continue until at least next spring. Farmers with operations of all sizes can get more information by calling Fresno State’s Center for Irrigation Technology at (866) 297-3029.

Following the press conference, we will provide directions to a nearby campus site for those interested in viewing and photographing a typical agricultural pump in operation.