The regional Monterey Bay Community Power project reached two major milestones this week. The Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District nominated Gine Johnson of my office for a regional Clean Air Leadership Award and I was proud to be the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. The County also approved the final contracts to develop the technical study that will determine the feasibility of establishing a local community choice aggregation (CCA) program. Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties, and all 18 Cities within the tri-county area, have joined the project. CCA is a program through which local governments assume responsibility for providing electrical power to residential and commercial customers within their jurisdiction in partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
As previously reported, all of the funds necessary to complete the study were raised as of May 2014, through private donations and grants.
The technical study will analyze the entire target region (3 Counties, 18 Cities) as well as each individual County. It will identify strategies, tactics and planning tools consistent with several key goals. These include rate parity or better with PG&E and an electric supply portfolio with an overall carbon content lower than the PG&E, no specific purchases of coal or nuclear power and as much local renewable energy as possible. The study will outline a strategy for project development which increases the installation of renewable energy systems to achieve greenhouse gas reduction, expands opportunities for local ownership and investment in energy assets and identifies the potential economic benefits to the region such as jobs, increased local energy investment and reduced energy imports.
For more information, please visit the project website – montererybaycca.org – or call my office which is leading the regional effort!