Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) is working with the community in reducing carbon emissions locally through electrification and innovation to create a FutureFit Silicon Valley. With the decarbonization strategy, SVCE expands its scope from providing clean electricity, to influence emission reductions from buildings and transportation.
The Decarbonization Strategy and Programs Roadmap was developed through extensive community input to guide SVCE’s programs to help the community with electrification, switching from polluting natural gas in homes, buildings and transportation to clean electricity and decarbonization, eliminating carbon emissions from our ways of life.
By 2030, Silicon Valley Clean Energy programs aim to cut energy-related pollution in half from the 2015 baseline. That would prevent 2 million metric tons of CO2e (which is a lot of harmful pollution) from being released into the environment each year! These efforts help create a more comfortable, efficient, and healthy future for Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 2015 baseline levels 30% by 2021, 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
Strategies by Sector
By providing carbon-free clean electricity, SVCE is going beyond what is defined within the state’s goals. In 2020, California requires that energy providers procure 33% of their energy supply from renewable sources, gradually moving to 50% by 2030. SVCE is ahead of this target with 50% of our base energy supply coming from renewable sources. In addition, SVCE successfully offers a voluntary 100% renewable product to approximately 3.7% of its load.
Along with an advanced power mix, SVCE has made clear progress towards meeting the state’s long-term renewable portfolio standard (RPS) procurement mandates through the successful execution of seven long-term power purchase agreements and contracting more than $1 billion in long-term renewable energy resources. In addition, SVCE demonstrated strong performance in meeting California’s Resource Adequacy mandates – almost 100% compliance with no penalties.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is working to electrify transportation on all fronts because nearly 40% of Santa Clara County’s emissions come from transportation. Unlike conventional vehicles, which run on gasoline or diesel, electric vehicles are powered by clean electricity and produce no emissions.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy plans on increasing adoption of electric vehicles and alternative modes of transportation to accelerate and transform how people get from place to place. With the EV Infrastructure (EVI) Joint Action Plan, SVCE is currently focused on improving charging access and electric vehicle infrastructure as a way to increase EV adoption.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is ensuring that buildings and homes within our community are FutureFit for efficiency, comfort, and safety. SVCE and developed this Building Decarbonization Joint Action to identify barriers, create a strategic framework and action plan to address building decarbonization.
Best Practices Guide for Streamlining Electrification Permitting
To further support member agencies, this program assesses current permitting and inspection processes for electric technologies and electric vehicle charging infrastructure and informs streamlining efforts across jurisdictions. Through a review of permit data and interviews with member agency staff, industry stakeholders and local contractors, the study produced a Baseline Assessment that benchmarks current electrification and electric vehicle permitting processes at each municipality and presents potential improvements.
This effort also informed the development of the Best Practices Guide for Streamlining Electrification Permitting (‘the Guide’). This Guide provides support for local jurisdictions to streamline permitting and inspection processes in order to prepare for the expected increase in permit activity as California transitions to all-electric buildings. The Guide also highlights recommendations for third-party entities to support jurisdictions’ electrification efforts.
Grid Integration & Energy Efficiency
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is maximizing clean electricity utilization on the grid and with our power supply. Our relationship with the grid has changed as distributed generation, such as solar, has grown and as technologies that manage energy use have evolved. We will leverage these resources to take advantage of using power when it’s the cheapest and cleanest.
In addition, to building new renewable energy projects and developing programs that help our customers optimize energy use, Silicon Valley Clean Energy aims to provide clean power offerings that go beyond traditional power sources at competitive rates for large corporate customers.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy partnered with Gridworks to assess five different virtual power plant options: Real Time Pricing, Peak Day Pricing, Demand Response Auction Mechanism, Load Shift Resource and Distribution Services Model. Operations were evaluated against SVCE’s criteria, including customer and community value, emissions reductions, scalability and transferability, equity in service, core role for SVCE, and viability and outlined in the paper Silicon Valley Clean Energy Virtual Power Plant Options Analysis linked below.
Change requires innovation. Innovation is incorporated within each of Silicon Valley Clean Energy’s programs to accelerate emissions reductions. SVCE is also focused on cultivating innovative ideas outside of our designated programs to embrace new ideas and technologies. Our community is centered in the nation’s innovation capitol, Silicon Valley, leveraging this community will help accelerate our decarbonization mission.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is working with local partners, such as research institutions and startup incubators who are deeply embedded in the innovation ecosystem of Silicon Valley. Through research, investing, and mentorship, these organizations help foster novel program ideas for carbon reduction, such as startups working on new solutions for transportation electrification, energy management and financing that will help our communities meet their sustainability goals.
Education & Outreach
Education and outreach play a key role in each of Silicon Valley Clean Energy’s programs. Connecting customers to their electricity usage and providing the tools necessary to empower all of us to reduce emissions benefits everyone.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy awarded $75,000 in grant funding to six local nonprofits to reach underrepresented members of our community through the Community Engagement Grants. The non-profit grantees (Acterra, El Concilio, Interfaith Power and Light, Sound of Hope, Sunnyvale Community Services, Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation) helped reach a broader audience and create an understanding of SVCE’s mission, programs, energy bills and benefits for the community.
SVCE is working with local student organizations, clubs and schools to continue to build awareness of the communities’ goals to fight climate change and increase engagement in the solutions.