RCEA 2021-22 Community REport

RCEA is excited to present our 2021-22 Community REport. We implement a variety of energy-related programs and projects on behalf of Humboldt County ratepayers. Public input shapes what we do, so we hope you’ll appreciate all that we’ve accomplished together. As our executive director Matthew Marshall says, “we couldn’t do this work without your ongoing support and commitment to our community’s renewable and resilient energy future.”

View full screen and then zoom in on sections of the document below as needed.

You can also:

  • View our PDF, which includes links for more information.

  • Click on the image to the left (or above) to enlarge and then scroll through all the images
  • Pick up a paper copy from the North Coast Journal’s racks January 20-26

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Net Energy Metering Proposed Changes

Proposed Changes to Net Energy Metering

RCEA recently provided a presentation to our Community Advisory Committee about the California Public Utilities Commission’s Net Energy Metering Successor Tariff and the Proposed Decision. You can view the slides here.

The RCEA Board of Directors will be discussing this at our January 27 Board meeting, and we encourage the public to attend to learn more, express their views, and hear our Board’s comments. 

In August 2020, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) initiated a proceeding to develop a successor NEM tariff (a.k.a. “NEM 3.0”) pursuant to the requirements of Assembly Bill 327 passed in 2013.

On December 13th 2021, the CPUC issued a Proposed Decision explaining what the new tariff provisions would be. The Commission is expected to vote on this Proposed Decision on January 27th. If this Proposed Decision passes as written, the current NEM 2.0 tariff will sunset in late May 2022 (an estimated date of May 27th).

While the sunset could change if the Proposed Decision is revised prior to the CPUC’s vote, the current guidance for customers interested in installing rooftop solar is to submit their interconnection applications as soon as possible if they wish to enroll in the current tariff. If the interconnection application is submitted prior to the sunset date, the customer can stay on the NEM 2.0 tariff for 15 years from their interconnection date.

For more information on the successor tariff, please read the customer explanation that the CPUC developed here.

To subscribe for updates and to submit comments on the successor tariff to the CPUC, please click here.

In February 2021, the Legislature introduced Assembly Bill 1139, which sought to expedite the current CPUC proceeding. Furthermore, if the accelerated timeline for the CPUC to establish a new NEM tariff was not met, the bill required specific provisions for the replacement tariff including additional interconnection fees, monthly fixed charges, NEM credits based on wholesale instead of retail rates, and a series of other provisions not favored by supporters of the current NEM 2.0 framework.

RCEA’s Board voted to oppose the legislation at its May 2021 Board meeting, deciding that the bill would harm current NEM customers and disincentivize new enrollment in the NEM program.

As of June 2021, this bill was not voted out of committee and is no longer active.

Stephen Kullman's Talkshop Interview

Demand Side Management Director, Stephen Kullmann,  discusses energy in Humboldt County, services for RCEA customers, RCEA’s promotion with Food For People, and more on Talkshop KINS.

RCEA’s Certify & Amplify Virtual Workshop

RCEA's Certify & Amplify Virtual Workshop

Connect Your Business to California’s Contracting Clearinghouse

Tuesday, Nov. 2, 10:00-11:30 AM

Small diverse businesses who certify have special access to multimillion $ contract opportunities with utilities, large and small, across the state.

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority is hosting a free webinar to introduce local businesses to the benefits and opportunities available through the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC)  Supplier Diversity program.

If you are a small diverse business owner, we want to help you certify in the CPUC Supplier Diversity program and amplify your business opportunities throughout the state. In this webinar, you will learn about the benefits and opportunities available through this certification and how to access California’s multimillion-dollar utility contracting clearinghouse.

Commonly referred to as “Supplier Diversity,” General Order (GO) 156 is a statewide program that encourages utilities to prioritize contracts and subcontracts from businesses that meet diversity qualifications. To qualify, businesses must be 51% woman-owned; minority-owned; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT)-owned; or disabled veteran-owned enterprises.

After being certified as a diverse supplier, qualified businesses are listed in the CPUC’s Clearinghouse, which utilities can then access for their contracting needs and to meet their contracting quotas.

The COVID-19 pandemic has squeezed our local businesses into even more competitive environments and tighter margins, making Supplier Diversity certification another way to get local businesses noticed and ensure that they stand out among the competition.

RCEA wants to make sure that businesses in our communities are aware of this program, know how to qualify for the Clearinghouse, and get their questions answered by our guest speakers from the CPUC, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and a local business like themselves. Please visit our Supplier Diversity webpage for more information.

When diverse community businesses thrive, we all thrive.

Traducción estará disponible. Los detalles se proporcionarán con el registro.

Register for the zoom workshop here.

Download Flyer:   PDF   JPG

RCEA and offshore wind developers hail new state law

a single floating wind turbine with a yellow platform
Windfloat photo credit EDPR

New legislation just signed into law on Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom will significantly advance the development of an offshore wind power industry on the West Coast.

Eureka, CA — New legislation just signed into law on Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom will significantly advance the development of an offshore wind power industry on the West Coast, especially in Humboldt County, say developers of a proposed local project and the area’s Community Choice Aggregator (CCA).

The legislation, AB 525, which was approved nearly unanimously by the California Legislature earlier this month, directs California state agencies to develop a strategic plan to facilitate the development of offshore wind on a large scale over the next two decades.

California law states that, by 2045, 100 percent of electricity consumed in California must come from carbon-free sources. One study has suggested offshore wind has the potential to generate electricity in an amount equal to 150 percent of California’s electricity usage in 2019. Further, offshore wind is the perfect complement to solar generation in California as ocean winds pick up in the early evening when the sun begins to set.

“This new law shows California is now fully committed to developing an offshore wind industry that can create local jobs, advance towards a carbon-free electric system, and address the threat of climate change,” said Tyler Studds, chief executive officer of Redwood Coast Offshore Wind (ROW).

ROW is a 50-50 joint venture between two international offshore wind developers, Ocean Winds and Aker Offshore Wind, in partnership with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA). RCEA is a CCA formed by nine local government entities with a mandate to procure clean and renewable power for Humboldt County electricity customers.

Earlier this year, Newsom and the Biden administration announced they expect to hold an auction in 2022 for leases off both the Humboldt Coast and the Central Coast near Morro Bay. These areas combined could produce 4.6 GW of offshore wind energy and power 1.6 million California homes.

“This legislation and the support it received underscores the wisdom of RCEA engaging early to work toward the responsible development of our local offshore wind resource,” said Matthew Marshall, executive director of RCEA. “We are taking a community-based approach to developing Humboldt County’s offshore wind resource that prioritizes community values, protecting the environment, and developing strategies to avoid or mitigate impacts to the fishing community and local Tribes, while creating jobs and economic development.” ROW has already actively engaged a host of local stakeholders, including fisheries, labor, and Tribal governments to understand their concerns and explore solutions.

Deploying wind turbines offshore, where they will be placed on floating platforms so they can operate in deep water, will require significant investments and upgrades to the Port of Humboldt Bay that can also benefit other port users. Once the port is upgraded and as the industry develops, other parts of the offshore wind supply chain could locate facilities in Humboldt County and elsewhere in California. In July, the Humboldt Bay Harbor and Recreation District submitted a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation Port Infrastructure Development Program to fund the development of a Humboldt Bay Offshore Wind and Heavy Lift Marine Terminal.

“This law provides much-needed certainty around the future of offshore wind in California and will spur significant upgrades in port and grid infrastructure,” said Jonah Margulis, senior vice president of US operations for Aker Offshore Wind. “We look forward to creating a robust, sustainable offshore wind industry in Northern California that will serve the community with reliable, clean energy and well-paying jobs for decades to come.”

RCEA Public Rebate for Residential EV charging equipment

Juan charging electric vehicle

Humboldt’s First-Ever Public Rebate for Residential EV Charging Equipment

RCEA launched Humboldt’s first-ever public rebate for residential electric vehicle charging stations today, brought to you by RCEA’s Community Choice Energy Program.

We want to make it as affordable and convenient as possible for folks to own an EV and charge at home.

The rebate amount is up to $500 per customer for charging stations listed on our Approved Products List, not to exceed 50% of the total charging station hardware costs. This rebate is retroactive for up to 3 months—if you installed an approved product within the last 3 months you can apply to receive the rebate.

For more information and to apply for the charger rebate, please go to our EV charging equipment page.


You can find all of RCEA’s rebates, including an electric vehicle rebate, on our Rebates page.


If you have further questions, you can contact ev@redwoodenergy.org or (707) 269-1700.

 

photo: Juan Cervantes

Close up RCEA's electric vehicle charging station in Arcata

New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Arcata

RCEA partnered with the City of Arcata to install four new electric vehicle charging stations at the Arcata Community Center. They’re open to the public now and can charge up to 8 cars at once.

We continue to expand local EV charging infrastructure because of the environmental and economic benefits and positive impacts on our community.

  • Communities with charging infrastructure are taking a decisive step toward cleaner air by shifting as much local driving as possible to zero-emission electric vehicles.
  • EVs charging at RCEA’s stations are powered by RePower+ 100% carbon-free energy.
  • EVs are cheaper to fuel and maintain than gas cars.
  • EVs raise awareness of major changes that are happening in the transition to clean, alternative transportation modes.
  • EVs support environmental justice by reducing transportation pollution in neighborhoods.
  • EVs help us achieve our climate change goals and build sustainability.

The goal of RCEA’s Transportation Program is to support the use of low-carbon fuel vehicles in Humboldt County. Visit our EV page for more information, including available rebates.

Building on a Foundation of Local Energy Resiliency Efforts

8/10/21. RCEA’s Stephen Kullmann, who is also a Humboldt Bay Harbor Commissioner, on the afternoon cruise on the Madaket with CEC Commissioner Karen Douglas, Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland, Congressman Jared Huffman, and Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Brenda Mallory, chatting about offshore wind energy.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory Build on a Foundation of Local Energy Resiliency Efforts

August 10, 2021. Plans to bring offshore wind energy to Humboldt County have been picking up speed in recent months after years of local discussions. What started as small meetings in 2018 with local Tribes, fishermen, and environmental groups about the challenges and benefits for our community has blown into being a priority for both the Biden Administration and the State of California. Most of the world is now united by the desire to dodge a global climate crisis and transition to a clean energy future.

On May 25, the Biden Administration announced that it will focus on what would be the first U.S. commercial-scale wind projects off the Pacific Coast, including Humboldt County. Today U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory met with local leaders on Woodley Island to discuss a range of issues, including the need to “build out a clean energy economy and create jobs, including by spurring offshore wind development.”

Humboldt Bay is a good fit for an offshore wind industry for several reasons: there’s an excellent wind resource off our coast, a connection to the grid next to the bay, no bridge in the way of floating the turbines in and out for maintenance, and there’s ample space on the harbor for an industrial port. The Redwood Coast Energy Authority provided $50,000 in funding to the Humboldt Bay Harbor District to help them put together a proposal that will hopefully secure ~$66 million in state and federal funding to redevelop Humboldt’s port infrastructure to be able to support offshore wind development.

Discussions with local fishermen led to a Memo of Understanding in 2018 between RCEA and the Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association (HFMA) to work together throughout the development of an offshore wind project. Ken Bates from the HFMA commented that “Wind power proposals on this coast are not new, the HFMA has been engaged since 2018 with wind power advocates and local organizations concerning impacts to fishing and fishing grounds.”

RCEA intends to model how developers should engage communities on projects of this scale. Local Tribes were consulted early on and will remain at the forefront of RCEA’s engagement efforts. Although every Tribe will have their own perspective, Ted Hernandez, the Chairman of the Wiyot Tribe (whose unceded land surrounds Humboldt Bay), recently publicly commented that he supports local offshore wind development.

Most recently, a network of local organizations, governments, Tribes, and individuals have come together under the umbrella of the Humboldt Area Foundation to launch a central entity, the Energy Resiliency Network. As a collaborative, the Energy Resiliency Network is poised to coordinate engagement efforts regarding offshore wind that will include all the diverse values of our North Coast community. Expect to hear more about this in the coming weeks.

 

Here’s the press release from the Dept. of Interior about their visit. https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/secretary-haaland-ceq-chair-mallory-highlight-offshore-wind-developments-california

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