Contra Costa County, Concord and 13 other cities in the county are currently considering options for a nonprofit community choice energy agency to provide solar and wind-generated electricity to their residential, business and government customers. (Five cities, Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito, Walnut Creek and Lafayette are already customers of Marin Clean Energy.)
At the last Contra Costa Board of Supervisors hearing, the board unanimously voted their preference for joining an existing CCE agency. Marin Clean Energy (MCE) and East Bay Clean Energy (EBCE), Alameda County’s brand new community-governed power supplier, are now competing for the privilege of providing power to Contra Costa customers. In addition to providing electricity that has higher renewable content and lower greenhouse gas emissions, community choice energy programs can contribute significantly to buildout of local renewable energy infrastructure and green job creation. This is of major importance to a county with 41,000 acres of contaminated brownfields and major potential for solar and wind generation— not to mention hunger for family-sustaining jobs.
At the next county-sponsored workshop in Concord, county staff will provide an overview of the draft feasibility study, and MCE and EBCE will offer presentations on their respective advantages to the city of Concord and other Contra Costa entities. It’s clear that we need to choose a CCE program that will make local clean energy development a real priority. There is much at stake here, including development of former Concord Naval base acreage. Building solar and wind installations on Contra Costa brownfields could play an important part in the county’s Northern Waterfront Economic Development Initiative. (Forty percent of the renewable energy capacity identified by the EPA is located within the NWEDI area.) Even if you’re not a Concord resident, this workshop will be the place to raise questions about prioritization of renewable energy development, union job generation, and local control. Decisions made by the 13 cities and county—Contra Costa is the second most industrialized county in the state and home to four oil refineries—will have significant impact on the direction of sane, sustainable development throughout the entire East Bay region for decades to come.
See you in Concord on the 23rd!
Contra Costa’s draft feasibility study can be found here. The final study will be presented to the county Board of Supervisors on March 21st, with a decision expected shortly thereafter.
Concord CCE Public Workshop
Thursday, February 23, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Concord City Hall
1950 Parkside Dr
Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors—Final CCE Study Presentation
Tuesday, March 21 (time per agenda)
County Chambers, 1st Floor
651 Pine St.