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Danville poised to join MCE Clean Energy

Original post made on May 16, 2017

Danville appears on its way to joining MCE Clean Energy later this year, with the Town Council scheduled Tuesday to consider moving forward with a request to enroll the town in the regional alternative electricity program.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, May 15, 2017, 2:53 PM

Comments (5)

6 people like this
Posted by dc1
a resident of Danville
on May 16, 2017 at 6:38 am

My advice is to think and choose very carefully....And remember that MCE produces no power, has no grid, and little to no administration. They exist solely because the CPUC encourages regulatory arbitrage, where MCE customers (for now) are not paying even close to their fair share of the costs of not just buying, but also distributing and maintaining energy on the grid. And the utilities and PUC are starting to take notice of this unfair burden. I expect more 'admin' like charges to be assessed to MCE customers going forward.

1 person likes this
Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

MCE supplies 100% renewable electricity to my second home in Napa. Last months PG&E bill shows that only the "Distribution / Generation" charge is offset by MCE. The PG&E bill still includes charges for:

Transmission, Electric Public Purpose Programs. Nuclear Decommissioning, DWR Bond Charge, Competition Transition Charges, Energy Cost Recovery Amount, PCIA, Taxes and Other.

The MCE 100% Renewable Electricity Program is voluntary and provides electricity slightly cheaper than PG&E.

1 person likes this
Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2017 at 8:32 am

As a customer of the 100% Renewable Electricity Option "Deep Green" creating local jobs is an added benefit.
The MCE website states:

"Half of the Deep Green premium funds the development of local renewable energy projects. ..... Thanks to Deep Green customers, we’re building Solar One, the Bay Area’s largest publicly owned solar farm."

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Posted by Sam Altshuler
a resident of Danville
on May 16, 2017 at 1:24 pm

There are two important issues when discussing sources of electric power: 1. the carbon foot print (pounds of carbon per kWh) and 2. What happens when the sun doesn't shine, the wind doesn't blow, and the electric load is high (warm/hot summer early evening hours).

For the light green MCE proposal, the carbon emissions are slightly better than PG&E. Nat at the town of Danville provided this information: "PG&E's 2015 emissions factor was 405 lbs/MWh and MCE's was 331 lbs/MWh. I also hear that PG&E's service is approximately 67% carbon free, and MCE's service is 75% carbon free this year." So, at similar projected costs, MCE's light green power (50+% renewable) has marginally lower carbon emissions for similar costs.

The area of concern for me is for the 100% renewable scenario. There will be times when there isn't enough renewable electricity to go around. We can expect to pay premiums for that power. As more and more people sign up for the 100% renewable package, there could be quite a problem drastically affecting power costs. Recall the ENRON situation in the mid 1990's??? Danville residents with our warmer days are likely to be more affected by the squeeze for renewable power than our North Bay or Bay side neighbors with more mild climates and lower AC demand.

Beyond this, the Town of Danville should be looking at ways to further encourage electric conservation, the storage of electricity, and encouraging more domestic solar systems. Interestingly, the town of Fremont is promoting/requiring that all new homes be built with solar panels and wiring to accommodate EV charging at home. Danville should consider similar statutes. Battery storage systems could also be considered in the discussion. Expedited/free permitting should be discussed. More dedicated EV charging parking spots and solar systems in public areas of town could be included.

There is an old saying that what gets measured, gets done. Do we have an inventory of progress in utilizing renewable energy in Danville???

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Posted by Sam Altshuler
a resident of Danville
on May 16, 2017 at 1:38 pm

I have comments on the proposed EBMUD rate increase. EBMUD has three options for raising revenue: 1. increase water rates, 2. service charges, or 3. a combination of both. I argue that if money is needed to rebuild or expand the infrastructure, it should come from increasing the service charge. If sources of water are charging more or if there are increased treatment costs for the water, those costs should be passed on through increased water rates. These are subtle points.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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