Yolo County, Davis and Woodland have taken an important first step by creating Valley Clean Energy. VCE has a legislatively mandated responsibility to buy and resell wholesale electricity. It is importing higher-renewable-content electricity for the communities it serves at costs competitive with PG&E’s electricity imports.
It has an opportunity to do more, i.e., bring clean local energy resources on stream, strengthening local economies in the process. This will require keeping rates competitive with PG&E’s and having money left over to source more clean electricity locally.
That’s not all. Regardless of what VCE does, the electricity sector will be undergoing profound changes in the next decades. Local energy systems will be much smarter and more completely integrated with building energy and local transportation infrastructure.
VCE hopes to guide its customers and communities through a process that results in greatly increased local energy resilience and much greater local energy self-reliance. This will take innovative local programs, innovative rate-setting, innovative procurement processes plus deep engagement with customers, communities, UC Davis, PG&E, state agencies, etc.
VCE can carve out a role that facilitates collaboration and local integration. This will require visionary leadership. The VCE Community Advisory Committee is committed to support such leadership in every way possible.
Via brief blogs, our members will be explaining the individual elements of VCE’s long-term vision — what’s at stake and what it will take to get there.
We look forward to rich conversations with many of you.
Gerry Braun Chair, Valley Clean Energy Community Advisory Committee
Gerald Braun is a utility and solar industry veteran and founding director of federal, state, utility and university-based renewable energy RD&D programs. He founded and manages IRESN, Inc., a registered nonprofit business league focused on local energy integration and collaboration in the U.S.
VCEA Vision – Near Term*
The near-term vision for VCEA is to provide electricity users with greater choice over the sources and prices of the electricity they use, by:
- Offering basic electricity content, at a rate competitive with PG&E;
- Developing and offering additional low-carbon or local generation options at modest price premiums;
- Establishing an energy planning framework for developing local energy efficiency programs and local energy resources and infrastructure; and
- Accomplishing the goals enumerated above while accumulating reserve funds for future VCEA energy programs and mitigation of future energy costs and reisks.
*Effective October, 2017; recommended by VCEA’s Community Advisory Committee and Approved by VCEA’s Board of Directors
VCEA Vision – Long Term
The future vision for VCEA is to continuously improve the electricity choices available to VCEA customers, while expanding local energy-related economic opportunities, by:
- Causing the deployment of new renewable and low carbon energy sources;
- Evaluating and adopting best practices for planning and operational management;
- Substantially increasing the renewable electricity content of basic electricity service, with the ultimate goal of achieving zero carbon emissions electricity production and storage;
- Developing and managing programs for energy resources to increase localized investment, employment, innovation and resilience;
- Accelerating deployment of local energy resources to increase localized investment, employment, innovation and resilience;
- Working to achieve the climate action goals of participating jurisdictions to shape a sustainable energy future; and
- Saving money for ratepayers on their energy bills.
- Remaining open to the participation of additional jurisdictions.