By Gregory Young

The desire to own a dog came long before my desire to own an electric vehicle (EV), but I never would have guessed that they both would be satisfied on exactly the same day. I mostly have the magic of fate to thank for that — but I can proudly say that research and persistence also played a large role. …

By Rosana Francescato

We recently wrote about a Vibrant Clean Energy study that used a sophisticated model to show what we already knew at the Clean Coalition: despite the economies of scale enjoyed by large-scale, remote energy generation, clean local energy projects can be more cost-effective.

That’s because generating energy close to where it’s used avoids the extra “shipping and handling” costs of expensive long-distance transmission lines.

The study’s findings were a bit more nuanced and did not suggest that we should do away with remote energy generation and transmission lines; the most cost-effective overall strategy is a coordinated combination…

By Craig Lewis

2021 started on a high note for Solar Microgrids and the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). On 12 January, the SBUSD Board voted unanimously on a contract with Engie Systems for Solar Microgrids at six school sites and standalone solar at another eight sites. Engie will build, own, and operate the systems under a 28-year power purchase agreement (PPA), and the District will reap massive benefits in guaranteed bill savings from the deployments, while enjoying an almost equivalent amount of free resilience value from the Solar Microgrids.

A perfect location for Solar Microgrids

The SBUSD is located in one of the most…

By Rosana Francescato

Most Americans want to save money, and most Americans want the US to deploy more renewable energy. What most Americans don’t realize is that we can do both — by generating more of that energy close to home.

The traditional thinking is that economies of scale make large, remote power plants more economically viable. But a new study by Vibrant Clean Energy shows that’s very far from being the case.

Two key findings came out of the study:

  • If we deployed enough large solar and wind farms to decrease CO2 emissions by 95% by 2050, Americans would…


This year has undoubtedly set records for the use of the word “unprecedented.” Yet, despite the many challenges of 2020, clean energy is also setting records.

The pandemic, combined with yet another severe wildfire season in the Western US, has only increased interest in the unparalleled resilience benefits provided by renewables-driven microgrids. But while everyone understands the significant value of this resilience, quantifying its value has proven elusive — until now.

In 2020, the Clean Coalition made it simple to value resilience with our straightforward and streamlined value-of-resilience methodology: VOR123. In developing VOR123, we began by tiering electric loads…

While the pace of energy policy innovation slowed with the onset of COVID-19, the Clean Coalition still made critical progress in 2020. In addition to other activities, we submitted over 30 regulatory filings at the state, local, and federal levels. In more than one case, including in the “Microgrids proceeding” at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), our foundational work in 2020 has set the stage for crucial policy successes in 2021.

Reducing barriers to microgrids

In 2020 the CPUC began a proceeding to implement SB 1339, which has the goal of facilitating the commercialization of microgrids in California — an essential step toward…

There’s a saying in the solar industry, “Solar is contagious.” That refers to the way residential solar tends to spread in neighborhoods: if you install solar panels on your roof, the likelihood increases that your neighbors will also go solar.

Now, the trend is also beginning to play out for Solar Microgrids, which can be installed at a home, a business, or a critical community facility such as a school or fire station. Solar Microgrids can island from the larger grid during a power outage — whether it’s caused by a natural disaster, a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), or…

Everyone is talking about the resilience provided by indefinite renewables-driven backup power. Everyone understands that the value of this resilience is significant. However, everyone seems to be stumped when it comes to quantifying this value — as is evident at conferences, in numerous articles, and at high levels of government.

But it turns out that we can in fact quantify the value-of-resilience (VOR). In 2020, the Clean Coalition showed the way with these major breakthroughs:

California has always been a clean energy leader. The state should be continuing this venerable tradition with its microgrid legislation, SB 1339, which has the commendable goal of facilitating the commercialization of microgrids in California.

Given the urgent need for energy resilience in California’s new normal of increasingly severe wildfire seasons and continuing planned utility outages, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proceeding tasked with implementing SB 1339 should be paving the way for microgrid proliferation in the state. Renewables-driven Community Microgrids, in particular, bring our communities an unparalleled trifecta of economic, environmental, and resilience benefits. …

Final approvals were received in mid-August 2020 for the Vallecito Energy Storage Resilience (VESR) Project in Carpinteria, California — the first 40 MWh of front-of-meter (FOM) energy storage of the 280 MWh that Southern California Edison (SCE) proposed and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved to come online in the area by the middle of 2021. The Commercial Operation Date (COD) for VESR is expected in December, just a few months after receiving final approvals, which were necessary for actual construction to begin.

VESR, one of the winners of SCE’s local capacity requirements RFP, was awarded a 20-year Energy…

Clean Coalition

Accelerating the transition to #renewableenergy and a modern grid through technical, policy, and project development expertise.

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