Archive for AB 2145

AB 2145 Dead

AB 2145 Got Kicked to the Curb!

We are thrilled to report that AB 2145 has officially died, failing to make it off the Senate Floor when the final gavel of the 2014 legislative session came to rest just after 3:00 am Saturday morning.

 

This has been an intense and hard-fought battle and its outcome represents a significant victory for CCA in California and in Sacramento, where in a grand twist of irony, AB 2145 put CCA on the legislative map.

Huge thanks go out to the Statewide Coalition, Californians for Energy Choice, which sponsored the www.no2145.org campaign and fought the bill all the way to its demise.  And thanks to CREDO, Marin Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power and the hundreds of local governments and organizations who signed-on, wrote letters, sent e-mails, and placed phone calls along the way.  The grassroots effort was nothing short of inspiring. Thank you one and all!

 

But We Must Remain Vigilant…

While we can now take a breath and return to the business of expanding CCA around the State (and country), it’s reasonable to assume the utilities and their unions aren’t going away quietly. In addition, there are aspects of CCA that remain troublesome– most notably the cost recovery surcharge/PCIA fees and ongoing utility cost shifting. We will be strategizing in the coming weeks about the 2015 legislative session and what it may bring, including the potential to go on the offensive and sponsor our own bill. We will certainly keep you posted as this and other strategies are developed.

Next Steps 

In addition to preparing for the 2015 legislative session, there is much to do on the electrical union/labor front.  CCA is too often painted as anti-labor without any facts to support that claim.  LEAN plans to sponsor a University of CA authored CCA Labor & Economic Impact Study that takes a deeper look into the issue.  In addition, we will support any effort that creates a set of “guiding principles” regarding the use of union labor and project labor agreements.  We will not, however, support legislative mandates or regulatory reqirements that make CCA operations more onerous or make it harder to compete in the California energy market.
In addition, there are a slew of regional CCA workshops upcoming in Northern California including the Business for Clean Energy workshop onOctober 23.  Discussions are also underway for a statewide CCA conference in early 2015, so stay tuned and let us know if you want to co-sponsor or be part of the planning commitee.
How Can You Help? 
There are several ways you can stay engaged and be part of the solution:
1) Share this email with other interested folks and encourage them to join our news list at www.LEANenergyus.org
2) Complete a brief education survey and let us know if you want to host a workshop or CCA study session in your community by CLICKING HERE
3) Consider a supporting membership in LEAN Energy to further our CCA efforts and,
4) Consider sponsorship of the CCA Labor & Economic Impact Study, the 2015 Statewide CCA conference, and/or a CCA educational webinar series.
THANK YOU so much for your support and participation. We look forward to working in partnership to advance Community Choice Energy for all Californians.
Shawn Marshall
Executive Director, LEAN Energy US415-786-9118 (cell)/415-888-8007 (office)

shawnmarshall@leanenergyus.org

LEAN Energy US is committed to the accelerated expansion and competitive success of clean energy CCA nationwide. As a member organization, LEAN (Local Energy Aggregation Network) serves a national network of community leaders, local governments, consumers, advocacy organizations, power suppliers and developers working toward the protection and establishment of CCAs in their States and cities. To learn more, please visit us atwww.LEANenergyus.org.

AB 2145 DEAD

 

2145

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assembly Bill 2145, the proposed law aimed at crushing Community Choice Energy programs in California, is officially dead. When Senator Steinberg brought down the gavel this morning at 3:00 a.m. with no vote from legislators for AB 2145, the bill died. The bill’s author, Assemblyman Steven Bradford, was unable to find a colleague to manage his bill on the senate side.
 
The victory over extremely powerful corporate forces in Sacramento resulted from the uprising of governments, businesses, and clean energy advocates from San Diego to Del Norte County. A statewide coalition, Californians for Energy Choice, fought the bill to the bitter end.
 
Community Choice energy is the most powerful tool to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the local level. Large utilities have repeatedly tried to stop it. Pacific Gas & Electric spent nearly $50 million in 2010 pushing Proposition 16 that would have ended Community Choice in California. Voters roundly defeated this statewide ballot measure.
 
The Climate Protection Campaign played a central role in raising awareness and educating the public about the perils of AB 2145, which originally would have turned Community Choice law on its head and made the large corporate utilities the default service providers in the State.
 
“Regarding Community Choice, you know you are on to something good when the corporate utilities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to stop it, said Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the Climate Protection Campaign. She added, “We recognized immediately the serious threat that AB 2145 posed, so we acted, and it has paid off. We are now very eager to continue helping to develop clean energy Community Choice programs across the State.”
 
More information: www.no2145.org andwww.climateprotection.org
Contact: Woody Hastings, 310-968-2757,woody@climateprotection.org
Ann Hancock, 415-298-1224ann@climateprotection.org

Solar facility that could power 500 Marin homes

By Janis Mara, Marin IJ

20140621__MIJ-SOLAR-0622~1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roy Phillips, president of REP Energy, leads a tour of an abandoned quarry on June 9 in Novato. His company, REP Energy, wants to build a solar energy facility at the site near the McIsaac Dairy west of Novato. The quarry, no longer in use, was mined for the mineral serpentine, a source of asbestos. (Frankie Frost — Marin Independent Journal)

A proposed solar facility just outside Novato that could generate enough electricity to power more than 500 Marin homes is up for approval at the Marin Planning Commission meeting Monday.

Located on the isolated grounds of a former rock quarry, the solar farm would have 4,272 solar panels up to 6 and a half feet high on 11.5 acres of the 952-acre quarry. The $6 million project would generate 1.98 megawatts of electricity, delivered to Marin Clean Energy via nearby power lines.

The quarry was once mined for serpentine rock, which contains asbestos. Quarry operations shut down in 1990.

Installations like the solar project “are a good way to use formerly disturbed locations” like the quarry, said Andrew Campbell, the executive director of the Energy Institute at Haas, a research and teaching facility at the University of California at Berkeley.

Campbell said the proposed location also was beneficial because it is close to the people who would use the energy.

“Having the generation close to an area where consumers are also has benefits, since some power is lost when it is transmitted over long distances,” the executive director said.

The site is west of the city of Novato, east of Stafford Lake and about a mile north of Novato Boulevard. It is not visible from the road. County staff has recommended that the permit be granted, with some qualifications.

Crawford Cooley and Beverly Potter, who own the former quarry, would lease the land to San Rafael-based Danlin Solar, along with San Rafael-based REP Energy. Those two companies would own and build the solar installation.

“That’s a pretty typical arrangement,” Campbell said.

“Solar is a green energy source, no doubt about it. There is no pollution or greenhouse gas emitted at the place where you are generating the power,” the executive director said.

“This would be quite a win if it happened. The people who are very concerned about seeing beautiful agricultural land taken up with solar panels have a valid point. You’d hate to lose a lot of natural Marin. That makes this an ideal project because it’s sitting in an abandoned quarry essentially on bare rock,” said Bob Spofford, vice president of Sustainable San Rafael.

“Solar is in some ways the most ideal of all alternative energy because it doesn’t make noise, it doesn’t pollute, it produces power close to the time when it’s most needed, and it does not harm wildlife,” said Spofford.

Addressing Spofford’s last point, “Photovoltaic panels definitely do not kill birds,” said Michael D. McGehee, a Stanford University associate professor and a senior fellow at the university’s Precourt Institute for Energy. McGehee teaches classes on solar cells. Wind turbines such as the ones at Altamont do pose a danger to avian life, perhaps causing some to confuse the effects of this alternative energy source with those of solar, McGehee said.

No letters of opposition to the project had been received by the staff by Friday.

The state Office of Mines Reclamation and the Department of Public works oversaw the reclamation of the land since the 1990s, according to the county staff report. The project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act because it will not cause environmental impacts, the staff report said.

“My job is to work with clients to help them avoid environmental impacts,” said Dana Riggs, a project biologist with San Rafael-based WRA Environmental Consultants. “We planned it (the project) in a manner to avoid impacts on sensitive resources including species and habitat,” Riggs said.

If the permit is granted, construction could begin as early as mid-August and wrap up by November, according to Frank Gobar of Danlin Solar.