Energy Commission exceeds 2016 state standards for local ordinances

October 12, 2017

For Immediate Release: October 11, 2017
Media Contact: Edward Ortiz, 916 654 4989

Energy Commission Approves Biomass System in Shasta County, zero-percent loan for solar system in Soledad Schools, new energy standards for Lancaster

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission today approved a $1.5 million grant to demonstrate a containerized biomass-to-energy system in Shasta County as part of the state’s effort at creating economic drivers to support renewable energy that also benefits California’s forest health crisis.

The Berkeley-based All Power Labs, Inc. received the grant award through the Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge to demonstrate a mobile biomass-to-energy project at a mill site in Anderson. The project is designed to generate low-cost renewable energy by processing thousands of tons of forestry waste derived from California’s unprecedented tree die-off, while also sequestering carbon.

The Energy Commission also approved a $3 million zero-percent interest loan to the Soledad Unified School District to construct five parking lot canopy solar photovoltaic (PV) structures and one ground-mounted PV system. The installed PV panels at the district will add 675 kilowatts of solar power at five campuses, including the district office.

During the first year, the system is expected to save the district more than $196,000 in electric utility costs and generate more than one million kilowatt hours of electricity, reducing about 350 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Funds for the project came from the Energy Commission’s Energy Conservation Assistance Act program. The program provides low- and no- interest loans and technical support to cities, counties, special districts, public schools, and colleges to implement energy efficiency projects.

The Energy Commission also approved the adoption of building energy efficiency standards for the city of Lancaster that will require photovoltaic solar systems be installed in new homes, with the alternative of paying a solar mitigation fee that contributes to city-managed renewable resources.

With today’s action, the Energy Commission now has approved 12 local ordinances that exceed the 2016 state standards.

For more details on actions taken at today’s business meeting see the business meeting agenda.

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The California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation and preparing for energy emergencies.