Statewide LG EE Best Practices: Weekly Update

Here are your wEEkly updates:

News and Opportunities

The Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC) is requesting your input on the 2017 work plan. We hope you take this short (5-10 min) survey intended to get a better understanding of local government needs and interests to inform activities undertaken by SEEC and to help shape the 2017 SEEC Forum. We ask that you complete this survey by Friday, January 27th at 5:00 PM.

The Energy Commission released the Grant Funding Opportunity for the Local Government Challenge grant program. All grant documents are included in the above link. Deadline for applications is March 6, 2017

The California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) is convening a series of public workshops to obtain stakeholder input on how to develop community solar offerings for low-income and disadvantaged communities. The first of a series of workshops begins January 18th.

The California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will jointly conduct a workshop to discuss key questions in the implementation of the energy efficiency portions of Senate Bill 350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (de León, Chapter 547, Statutes of 2015) (SB 350). Monday, January 23, 2017

The Chair of the California Energy Commission is seeking comments on the proposed scope and general schedule for the 2017 Integrated Energy Policy Report (2017 IEPR). Written comments should be submitted to the Dockets Office by close of business on January 25, 2017.

Desert Valleys became the fourth active lender in California's Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) Assistance Program. Desert Valleys has made an initial loan commitment of up to $1 million in new lending to projects in the Ridgecrest community. You can learn more about the REEL program here.

Career Opportunities

Redwood Coast Energy Authority is recruiting for a Demand Side Management Programs Project Manager. 

The Energy Coalition is seeking a Project Coordinator to provide administrative, planning, coordination, technical and implementation support to other team members to contribute to the success of The Energy Network program.

The Port of San Diego is currently seeking an experienced Principal, Planning & Green Port to lead the Energy & Sustainability team in the Planning and Green Port Department.

 That is all for this week. Have a great weekend!

US gets serious about offshore wind

Offshore wind may soon take a cue from Oliver Twist and ask for more. Way more.

The U.S. Department of Energy is taking comments on a draft plan for developing offshore wind power and sponsoring seminars about creation of an offshore industry.

At this point, the industry is in its infancy with only one project, Cape Wind in Massachusetts, approved. About four others are close behind in the regulatory wings.

But the DOE's embrace is a big step for a neglected resource many believe has the potential to supply a serious percentage of this nation's electricity demand.

Officially dubbed "Creating an Offshore Wind Industry in the United States: A Strategic Work Plan," the 49-page draft was drawn up for DOE by its Wind and Water Power Program. The fact that a wind and water program even exists is a big deal.

There was a time when DOE meant nothing but nuclear. The agency traces its history back to the Manhattan project in 1942 (look for parallels to SyFy's "Eureka" this season) and was finally realized as DOE after President Carter made the switch from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1977. But I digress.

The draft spells out the hurdles -- high cost, technical challenges and connecting to the grid -- and objectives. Permitting is also a huge issue to navigate. How does a new technology get by regulators? Gives me a headache just thinking about the requirements the first projects will have to produce.

Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. will be one of the permit pioneers, 10 miles off the lake's coast near Cleveland. Officials with the organization are working closely with regulators and an experienced development team.

The draft offshore wind plan outlined some pretty significant goals. It establishes an initiative to "achieve a scenario of 54 gigawatts of deployed offshore wind generating capacity by 2030, at a cost of energy of 7-9 cents per kilowatt-hour."

That's huge. The interim target is 10 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020 at a much more modest cost of 13 cents kilowatt hour.

The initiative will seek to bolster technological development, remove market barriers and help create demonstration projects. The effort will "augment" about $100 million allocated to offshore wind research through stimulus funds, or the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

The plan says most offshore wind development is in Europe but points out that the United States has vast potential due to its significant coastlines. And it doesn't even specify Alaska -- talk about coastline. Heck, toss a cable across the Bering Sea and sell excess to Russia and China.

Europe's heavily subsidized program is about a decade old. Some 39 projects have been built with more than 2,000 megawatts of capacity. "The EU and the European Wind Energy Association have established aggressive targets to install 40 GW of offshore wind by 2020 and 150 GW by 2030," the plan said.

DOE looks as if its willing to assist. The agency has held a couple of recent seminars (one in Cleveland) and is actively working to get input on the draft plan and publicity for the issue.

It's not a Manhattan Project, but I'd like to hear Liam Neeson say, "Release the Kraken," and be referring to a flood of approved projects welcomed by coastal residents. Of course.