Marin County, California, USA

Stinson Beach, Marin County, California, USA

  • Target: Powered by 33% renewable electricity sources by 2015 and 100% by 2020.
  • Status: In progress
  • RES: Solar, wind, biogas, large hydro, and state system power.
  • Implementation: In 2010, Marin Clean Energy (MCE) launched California’s first Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program, which by law allows cities and counties to aggregate the buying power of individual customers to secure alternative energy supply contracts. Marin County's CCA gives customers an alternative to the local investor owned utility’s (PG&E’s) electricity, which is principally sourced from nuclear and natural gas powered plants, along with large hydro, renewables, and unspecified sources. Via CCA, customers could now choose between Light Green (27% renewable energy) or Deep Green (100% renewable energy).

    The biggest challenge associated with launching and operating a CCA was the requirement that investor owned utilities had to cooperate fully with attempts to form a CCA. The investor owned utility in Marin County initially opposed the creation of MCE through misleading ant-MCE marketing campaigns to thousands of potential customers. However, since new legislation was passed which imposes specific requirements on the relationship between a CCA and an investor-owned utility, the working relationship with PG&E has improved.

    So far, Marin County has invested in 33.2 MW of new renewables, and has allowed customers to choose where their electricity comes from. Projects have largely been financed through load guarantees. Initial Marin Clean Energy start-up costs in 2010 were loaned by River City Bank.  The local joint powers authority formed to administer Marin Clean Energy. The program is designed to be self-funding through the electric customer rates so there is no use of public funds or taxpayer dollars.
  • Population: 260,651 (2016)
  • Area: 828 sq mi (2,140 km2)
  • Link: https://www.mcecleanenergy.org
Stinson Beach, Marin County, California, USA

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