15 December 2022

Year-end Newsletter


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With the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), next year is set to be monumental for electrification, solar, and microgrids. This helpful calculator by Rewiring America exists to estimate your personal potential savings under the IRA. Even utility sentiment is changing, as indicated in a recent survey stating that, "more than 82% of executives said their investor-owned utilities have deployed or are currently working to deploy a microgrid". This survey further indicated that value-added services like electrification, Distributed Energy Resources (DER), Demand Response, energy efficiency, and resilience are all important new programmatic offerings for customers that extend beyond the utility's traditional business of delivering energy over long distances - which is no longer safe nor reliable in many cases.

However, with the increased electrical load expected from the transition to all-electric appliances and vehicles, it is of vital importance that this load is served by locally generated renewable energy. Not only does this local renewable energy have the capability of providing tremendous resilience, but also it reduces electricity costs by avoiding costly transmission investments that are inherently not resilient.

The Clean Coalition fights every day to accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy, with as much of that energy being local. This can be clearly seen in our numerous regulatory fillings and project-related successes.

Our work facilitating solar and Solar Microgrids for the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) has been extremely satisfying. We started with a feasibility study across the school district that led to Request for Proposals (RFP), contracting, construction, and operations under a 28-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). To celebrate the occasion, a ribbon cutting was held at Adams Elementary School, where the Clean Coalition's Executive Director, Craig Lewis, was a speaker (and several decades ago had been a student).

Read more about the SBUSD ribbon cutting

The Clean Coalition's accomplishments highlighted in our 2022 Mid-Year Newsletter were expanded upon during the second-half of the year. Shown below is a sample of existing projects that we are working on.

The Clean Coalition is delivering a cost-effective campus-wide energy plan for The Forum, a 350-unit full-service retirement community in Cupertino California. The solution designed by the Clean Coalition optimizes onsite solar and storage of the solar produced onsite, providing resilience for critical loads and substantial savings on The Forum's electricity bill.

Read more on The Forum project

DignityMoves builds interim supportive housing for the homeless with solutions that are cost-effective, standardized, and scalable. The Clean Coalition is supporting DignityMoves by designing standardized Solar Microgrids that deliver an unparalleled trifecta of economic, environmental, and resilience benefits to these all-electric modular home campuses -- and the standardized Solar Microgrid design can be leveraged by any type of modular home facility. The Clean Coalition utilized its Solar Microgrid Methodology to ensure that these types of facilities can be 100% solar-powered if the electric utility is unable to provide timely service and when the grid is down for any duration.  

Read more on the DignityMoves project

The solar+storage feasibility study produced by the Clean Coalition for the Chumash Casino Resort uncovered over $20 Million in cumulative savings. This was achieved by strategically placing solar on parking garages and rooftops of the Chumash Casino Resort, while also adding battery energy storage systems to reduce peak demand and perform energy arbitrage.

Read more on the Chumash Casino Resort project

The LifeMoves Mountain View site is staged for construction after the Clean Coalition completed a Solar Microgrid design for its transitional housing facility. The Clean Coalition applied its standardized Solar Microgrid Methodology to the effort, which reinforces the fact that Solar Microgrids can be deployed almost everywhere. 

Read more on the LifeMoves project

The Clean Coalition recently wrote a blog post on why local solar is the most effective way to reduce peak transmission usage, and in eliminating transmission costs as the biggest factor increasing electricity prices. This graphic shows that if the 12.5 GW of transmission-interconnected solar recorded by CAISO on 6 September 2022 had come from local solar, the peak transmission usage on that all-time historic-peak day would have been reduced by over 10%. Hence, local solar would have had a nearly 5 times greater impact in reducing peak transmission usage than the record-setting 1.2 GW of Demand Response on that day. Given that peak transmission usage is the primary cause of new transmission investments, local solar is poised to save ratepayers hundreds of billions of dollars in avoided transmission costs.

Read the Local Solar blog post here

The Clean Coalition will be featured in Season 1 Episode 7 of 50 States of Sustainability, a 10 part documentary series that shines a light on individuals, corporations, entrepreneurs, non profits, and government agencies that are innovating and taking bold steps to create a more hopeful future. This series is airing on public television, so check your local listings for air dates and times in order to tune in!

Read more on the 50 States of Sustainability documentary series 

One of the most critical policy decisions fought over in 2022 has been the battle over the future of Net Energy Metering (NEM). The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has proposed Net Energy Metering policy that will make it much more expensive for homeowners to install rooftop solar and store their electricity at home.

The Clean Coalition's Executive Director, Craig Lewis, teamed up with the Mayor of San Jose, Sam Licarrdo, and the CEO of Cinnamon Energy, Barry Cinnamon, in a op-ed published by the San Francisco Chronicle. Their op-ed reiterated that the CPUC's latest proposal will delay the average payback period for homeowners' investments in rooftop solar from six years to nine years, which will lead to fewer new solar installations on California rooftops, while not accounting for the massive savings in transmission infrastructure that rooftop solar delivers to all customers, nor helping advance solar for multi-family and lower income households.

Read the NEM op-ed here

The Clean Coalition has proposed many innovating policy changes and market mechanism throughout its existence. In 2021, we came out with the groundbreaking Renewable Energy Subscription (RES) market mechanism and proposed it in our policy filings.

This year, the Clean Coalition hosted and presented a webinar on the RES market mechanism. This RES webinar explained how this market mechanism allows any facility within the footprint of a Community Microgrid to pay a simple fee on top of its normal electricity tariff for a guaranteed daily delivery of locally generated renewable energy during grid outages, ensuring unparalleled energy resilience.

View our the RES webinar here

The Clean Coalition is grateful for the support from foundations, donor-advised funds, and the individuals who have allowed us to continue our work. For the second year, the Clean Coalition is being included in The Giving List, the philanthropic publication of the Montecito Journal Media Group. Through this effort, the Clean Coalition is seeking support to help us safeguard communities throughout California and beyond with Solar Microgrids and Community Microgrids.

Donate to support our work

Thank you for continuing to support the Clean Coalition in pursuit of our 25 x 25 vision, which is to ensure that from 2025 onward, at least 25% of newly added electricity generation capacity in the US will come from local renewable energy sources.

We wish you a happy holiday season and look forward to even greater successes in 2023, and beyond.


The Clean Coalition Team

Clean Coalition in the news

The Clean Coalition spreads solar technology through Santa Barbara County

KEYT | Read article

Big response to Sunnova's microutility plan in California

Microgrid Knowledge | Read article

The US Public Schools redesigning buildings with climate in mind

Santa Barbara News-Press | Read article

More Clean Coalition media coverage

Upcoming events

Intersolar North America | Energy Storage North America

14-16 February 2023, Long Beach, CA

The Clean Coalition is a partner organization for this event, which offers you unmatched opportunity to gain critical insights, make meaningful connections, source quality products—and have fun. Register here.

California Clean Energy Procurement Summit

2-4 May 2023, Northern California

The Clean Coalition is a partner organization for this event, which has been organized to bring together energy procurement decision-makers. Use discount code 230614 for 15% off passes! Register here.

If you are interested in having a Clean Coalition expert present at your event, please contact us at info@clean-coalition.org.

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