Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags Leave a comment on 11 bidders compete to provide power to Sonoma County

11 bidders compete to provide power to Sonoma County

Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Ten companies and one nonprofit agency are competing for an initial contract to provide electricity to Sonoma County homes and businesses through the county’s proposed public power agency.

The bids are for a contract of at least three years with an estimated worth of about $340 million, according to county officials. The program seeks to displace PG&E as the area’s dominant electricity supplier, a move that supporters say would boost support for renewable energy and spur investment in local power projects.

via 11 bidders compete to provide power to Sonoma County | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, Land Use, WildlifeTags , Leave a comment on Scientists Question Impact as Vineyards Turn Up in New Places

Scientists Question Impact as Vineyards Turn Up in New Places

Felicity Barringer, THE NEW YORK TIMES

For more than a decade, wine experts have discussed the impact of climate change on wine grapes, agriculture’s diva, a marquee crop nurtured and pampered around the world.

Now scientists are raising a new question: when grapes are transported to new areas, assuming warming weather and flagging rain make current regions unsuited to such harvests, what will the crop’s arrival do to the animals and plants already in residence?

via Scientists Question Impact as Vineyards Turn Up in New Places – NYTimes.com.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , , Leave a comment on Court deals blow to county energy retrofit program SCEIP

Court deals blow to county energy retrofit program SCEIP

Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A legal fight to protect a program that allows Sonoma County residents to pay for energy-saving retrofits to their homes through property taxes was dealt a significant and possibly final setback last week.

via Court deals blow to county energy retrofit program | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, Local OrganizationsTags , , , Leave a comment on County Creates Sonoma Clean Power

County Creates Sonoma Clean Power

CLIMATE PROTECTION CAMPAIGN
The Board of the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today created a joint powers authority to oversee Sonoma Clean Power, a proposed local program to buy and generate electricity for residents and businesses.
Three local organizations hailed the move and pledged to work with the new Sonoma Clean Power Authority, while cautioning that the power provider must be run like a competitive business venture rather than a government program. Climate Protection Campaign, Sonoma County Alliance, and the North Coast Builders Exchange each communicated their concerns to county officials.
“For Sonoma Clean Power to be successful in local job creation as well as greenhouse gas reduction, it must be run by proven energy entrepreneurs with a competitive mentality,” said Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the Climate Protection Campaign.
via County Creates Sonoma Clean Power | Climate Protection Campaign.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , , Leave a comment on 50-acre solar array planned at Sonoma County airport

50-acre solar array planned at Sonoma County airport

Bob Norberg, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
What would be the largest solar energy project in Sonoma County, generating enough electricity for 10,000 homes, is being planned for vacant land at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport.
“The goal is to get renewable energy projects started here in Sonoma County and get local jobs in this arena,” said Cordel Stillman, the capital projects manager for the Sonoma County Water Agency.
In addition, the airport is planning its own solar installations to provide electricity to the administration building, terminal and runway and security lighting.
via 50-acre solar array planned at Sonoma County airport | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, WildlifeTags , , Leave a comment on Large waste-to-fuel project hangs on federal subsidy renewal

Large waste-to-fuel project hangs on federal subsidy renewal

Jeff Quackenbush, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL
A $40 million project near Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport that would convert agricultural waste such as chicken manure into natural gas, electricity and certified-organic fertilizer has run afoul of the 2013 expiration of a federal renewable-energy incentive said to be crucial to the economics of the venture.
The Sonoma County Farms to Fuel Project had a green light from local government to start construction, approval for $35 million in low-interest state bond financing, a $3.37 million state matching grant and a market for about half the estimated plant revenue. But the project has been on hold for months, after it became apparent it wouldn’t be finished and on line by the end of next year, the current sunset for a federal business energy investment tax credit equal to 30 percent of project costs for renewable-energy sources, according to John Martin, chief operating officer of Kansas-based BioStar Systems, LLC 913-438-3002, biostarsystems.com.
via Large waste-to-fuel project hangs on federal subsidy renewal – North Bay Business Journal – North San Francisco Bay Area, Sonoma, Marin, Napa counties – Archive.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , Leave a comment on Greenhouse gas emissions down again in Sonoma County

Greenhouse gas emissions down again in Sonoma County

Bob Norberg, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Greenhouse gas emissions declined in Sonoma County in 2011 for the third straight year, reflecting an expansion of renewable energy sources and a down economy, which lowered demand for power and transportation.Still, Sonoma County’s goal of reducing emissions 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2015 remains elusive, officials said Tuesday.
via Greenhouse gas emissions down again in Sonoma County | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, WaterTags , Leave a comment on Windsor approves innovative PAYS water conservation & energy efficiency program – First in California!

Windsor approves innovative PAYS water conservation & energy efficiency program – First in California!

by bvesser, CLIMATE PROTECTION CAMPAIGN
Windsor Efficiency PAYS®, available to eligible Windsor residents starting August 2012, provides water and energy upgrades for residential properties that provide immediate utility bill savings—   with no upfront cost or debt.
On July 18, 2012, the Windsor Town Council gave final approval for Windsor Efficiency PAYS®, a new, innovative water conservation program that provides residents with immediate savings on utility bills and requires no upfront cost or new debt. The program provides for the installation of very efficient products and appliances, as well as dry-summer, drought resistant landscaping that will reduce water use, conserve energy, and save money.
via Windsor Approves Innovative, Water Conservation & Energy Efficiency Program – First in California! | Climate Protection Campaign.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags , , Leave a comment on Sonoma Clean Power vs. PG&E’s “Green Option” program

Sonoma Clean Power vs. PG&E’s “Green Option” program

by bvesser, CLIMATE PROTECTION CAMPAIGN
Background:
April 10, 2012, the Sonoma County Water Agency Board voted unanimously to continue its evaluation of Sonoma Clean Power. Since 2011 the Sonoma County Water Agency has studied the feasibility and desirability of implementing Sonoma Clean Power, a local program that will buy and generate electricity for businesses and residents to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.
April 24, 2012, PG&E announced it had asked permission of the California Public Utilities Commission to offer its electric ratepayers a voluntary new program to support 100 percent renewable energy. PG&E expects that residential customers who voluntarily opt in to the program will pay on average about $6.00 more per month.
via Sonoma Clean Power vs. PG&E’s “Green Option” Program | Climate Protection Campaign.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & EnergyTags Leave a comment on Santa Rosa likely to miss 2015 climate target

Santa Rosa likely to miss 2015 climate target

by Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
In 2005, Santa Rosa set two goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The first was to reduce its own emissions from municipal operations to 2000 levels by 2010.
The second was to reduce emissions citywide to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2015, one of the most aggressive targets in the nation.
The city government missed the first goal and the community is almost certain to miss the second, which is less than three years away.
via Santa Rosa likely to miss 2015 climate target | PressDemocrat.com.