So was kicking myself for not blogging on Sonoma Clean Power initiative prior to the Supervisor’s VOTE Tues. am…but even without me they did good and voted unanimously FOR CLEAN POWER!

FYI: A healthy planet can sustain about 350 parts per million of greenhouse gases. Currently we’re at 394.45ppm and rising! We’re poisoning ourselves. Want to help clean up?

With this urgently important vote gone RIGHT, it’s even still possible for Sonoma County to catch up – and even go further – along the sustainability road than our good buddies in Marin, which has a clean energy program in place. We’re 2.5 times bigger so serves way more.

This from Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign’s Woody Hastings:

“In case you have not seen it in facebook world…(facebook.com/climateprotection)

A unanimous “YES” vote at the Sonoma County Water Agency Board for Sonoma Clean Power!

County Advances Proposal for Sonoma Clean Power

And we had the room filled to standing room only with over 60 supporters!

“A banner day” according to one of our strategic advisors.

Woody

(taken heavily from Woody)
The Board voted on taking the first steps for an Implementation Plan and a Joint Powers Authority to run the program. Representatives from the environmental, business, and labor communities were on hand to speak in support of local clean power at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa.
For more information visit Sonoma Clean Power on Facebook or contact Woody Hastings, 707-525-1665 ext. 117, woody@climateprotection.org.

~~~~~

Survey Shows Broad Support for Sonoma Clean Power

On March 13th 2012 the Sonoma County Water Agency issued the results of a market survey about the proposed creation of Sonoma Clean Power, a public-private partnership to buy and generate electricity for local residents and businesses. Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the Climate Protection Campaign made these comments about the survey:

“This survey demonstrates what we’ve been hearing from the community all along – there is enormous support in Sonoma County for expanding options of where our power comes from. People feel strongly that getting our electricity from cleaner sources should be a high priority. This survey corroborates many others showing people’s deep support for renewable energy. It also takes the further step in measuring reactions to local governments taking an active role in developing clean power sources, finding that 74 percent of residents support ‘having a community owned electricity program that uses clean and renewable power.’

“We applaud county officials for proceeding diligently toward creating a local electricity provider. This market survey is one more step in the process of setting up an effective program. There is no bigger action the county can take for renewable energy than creating Sonoma Clean Power. If this program is done right, Sonoma County can set an excellent example of what the clean energy economy looks like.”

And this from Patch/NB Bus Journal:
Monday, April 9, 2012, 6:45 am
Vote is first step for Sonoma Clean Power business plan
By Eric Gneckow, Business Journal Staff Reporter

…significant milestone on April 10…planners will embark on a four-to-six month, $65,000 project to develop an implementation plan that includes details of a joint power governing authority for the proposed agency, according to Cordel Stillman, deputy chief engineer for the Sonoma County Water Authority.

“There’s a lot of education…” he said, describing plans to hold workshops…

Known as “Sonoma Clean Power,” the proposed agency would follow the “community choice aggregation” model made possible by California’s 2002 legislation, Assembly Bill 117. Like the Marin Energy Authority in Marin County, the proposed agency would serve its customers by feeding power into the current grid largely maintained by Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

…benefits include local control, rate stability and the ability to create significant financial incentives for customers who generate surplus power on their own through photovoltaic or other systems.

…Mr. Stillman…said an expected 4 to 10 percent bump in rates initially has remained a primary concern for some, particularly businesses.

…With power generation as part of its charter… the legally independent water agency body was tasked with development of the Sonoma Clean Energy concept. Control will ultimately go to the joint powers authority, which will likely include the municipalities that chose to join.

If implemented, Sonoma Clean Power would become the second such arrangement operating in the state, after the Marin Energy Authority.

Yet Sonoma’s agency could carry key differences, including sheer size, Mr. Stillman said. The county has 265,000 meters – 2.5 times the customer base of the 11-municipality Marin Energy Authority

Sonoma County … has … current and potential renewable energy assets… the 725-megawatt Calpine geothermal plant, which the company says produces enough energy to power a city the size of San Francisco and currently sells that energy throughout the state.

In its initial survey…the water agency found that 65 percent of businesses surveyed were at least “moderately supportive” of a community choice aggregation arrangement that included renewable sources. 74 percent of residents supported the creation of a locally-owned electricity program that used renewable sources…

In a followup focus group, Data Instincts found that 53 percent of participants would be willing to pay up to $15 more for electricity from the proposed agency, 73 percent would pay up to $10 more, and all 15 participants would pay an additional $5 a month…current projections estimate that the average additional cost for a residential customer would fall somewhere between the $10-$15 range.

“We’re not jumping the gun. We’re being very analytical,” said Efren Carrillo, Sonoma County’s Fifth District supervisor and member of the ad-hoc committee on Sonoma Clean Power. “Tuesday’s meeting is just another step in understanding where we need to be in having a cost-effective program.”

Fourth District Supervisor Mike McGuire, another member of the committee, said that rebates and other incentives could help enhance interest in the business community.

His concern: “How can we work with the entities that are the largest power users — business — and provide them with the tools to drive down their costs?”

(me again) At LEAST they are asking HOW we get this done. OK.