DERs are community-scale or customer-sited resources such as solar, storage, energy efficiency, smart appliances, electric vehicles, or resilient microgrids.
Through real-world examples of distributed energy resource projects on the Central Coast and beyond, you will see for yourself how the benefits of DERs – decarbonization, resilience, equity, and economics – are being realized. Come get informed and inspired about how we can accelerate these benefits at scale across the Central Coast.
Speaker: Ted Flanigan, President, EcoMotion
Topic: Building Municipal Microgrids for Resilience
Description: In 2018, the Santa Rita Union School District near Salinas, California switched on enough solar + storage to keep their schools running for 7 hours during a grid outage and to serve as a Powered Emergency Response Center when needed. EcoMotion led the Santa Rita microgrids project and is currently working with two CCAs—East Bay Community Energy and the Clean Power Alliance—to harden municipal facilities into fully-financed, carbon-free solar microgrids.
Speakers: Jon Erskine, Director of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Graniterock and Steve Snodgrass, Chief Financial Officer, Graniterock
Topic: Graniterock’s Green Journey to Distributed Energy Resources
Description: Graniterock is a family-owned, regional construction and materials business based in Watsonville, California that employs over 1,000 people. It produces locally sourced aggregate, concrete and asphalt for use in constructing homes, offices, roads, airport runways and more. The company is on a sustainable energy journey that began in 2018 with a 1-MW solar array at its Aromas quarry, the greening of its headquarters, commercial-scale battery storage, and fleet electrification. Graniterock will turn on an additional 15,000 solar panels in 2022 to generate another 5 MW of electricity at its Aromas quarry, making it the largest net metered project on the Central Coast. Graniterock is planning more clean energy investments for sustainability, resilience and economic opportunity.
Speaker: Marisa Hanson-Lopez, Residential Energy Efficiency Project Manager, Santa Barbara County and 3C-REN
Topic: High Performing Housing for Farm Workers
Description: 3C-REN’s Home Energy Savings program partnered with People’s Self Help Housing and the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) to support a comprehensive energy upgrade for three farmworker housing complexes in north Santa Barbara County. For the project, the Home Energy Savings program installed nearly 200 heat pump hot water heaters among other upgrades including insulation, smart thermostats, and LED lighting, along with solar PV systems through the Low Income Weatherization Program at each location.
This workshop is hosted by Uniting the Central Coast for Action (UCCA), a partnership between SLO Climate Coalition and Romero Institute’s Let’s Green CA initiative. UCCA is working to activate, connect, and coordinate Central Coast communities, organizations, and citizens to create a resounding voice for climate leadership.
Speaker: Jim Baak, Manager of Distributed Energy Resources, MCE
Topic: MCE Distributed Energy Resource Programs – Part 2
Description: MCE is offering a limited-time program helping residential and commercial customers install on-site energy storage systems (i.e., batteries) in combination with solar arrays to help electricity stay on when portions of the grid go down. This program also reduces customer energy bills by providing stored energy during peak-usage times of the day, when electricity is most expensive. Low income and medically vulnerable customers are prioritized. MCE uses DER management software (DERMS) to directly control the energy storage systems as a dispatchable Virtual Power Plant. This improves grid resiliency and helps MCE meet resource adequacy requirements of the California Public Utilities Commission.