On March 18th, San Rafael’s City Council unanimously decided to become the lead agency for a three-county group-purchasing project. The program will allow Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties in California to use their collective facilities as bargaining leverage to get discounts on solar arrays for municipal buildings and facilities. The program is run by SSC’s member Optony and their partner Solar Energy International.  Read more here…

Great news!  The Board of Supervisors voted to implement Sonoma Clean Power. This program will focus on providing a cleaner power mix for Sonoma County customers. The board’s decision means that this service will be made available to about 100,000 customers in the unincorporated areas of the county.

This is REALLY BIG NEWS and we are very excited about it at Gaia Energy Systems!

In the coming months, cities will consider joining Sonoma Clean Power and thereby give business and residential customers in their jurisdictions the choice. Depending on how many cities vote “yes,” the number of customers enrolled will increase.

CPC’s Ann Hancock along with many business and community allies spoke before the board about the importance of this program and the opportunity for our community it presents. It was standing room only!

The board also approved taking steps to arrange needed financing to get Sonoma Clean Power up and running. First Community Bank will provide the financing.

The proposed amount of renewable energy for the power mix is initially to be 33% compared with PG&E’s 19%. According to the current schedule, an electric service provider will be selected by the end of July, and Sonoma Clean Power will begin serving customers in January 2014.

Based on bids received earlier this month from 11 interested private electricity providers, rates are projected to be between 1.8% less to 1.1% more than PG&E on the residential side. For mid-sized commercial customers, rates are estimated to be 3.1% less to .5% more.

The decision yesterday is a huge milestone! We’re several steps closer to implementing the most powerful solution under local control for significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Now the focus shifts to cities. We’ll need your help to let council members know that residents and businesses want a choice! Stay tuned!

Source:  ClimateProtectionCampaign.org

Alex Aragon has been in the off-grid solar market for over 10 years and has just joined the Gaia team on staff. Alex is an experienced solar educator and blogger, and has offered to blog on behalf of Gaia Energy Systems. Alex can be reached at 877-424-2776 or at Alex@GaiaenergySystems.com if you want to learn more about how Gaia Energy Systems can help you go solar.

Somewhere in the Mojave Desert right now towers are being erected that will stand like shining tributes to the sun. Row upon row of mirrors will genuflect below, taking in the sun’s light, each to its measure, and focusing it back on a point atop their corresponding tower. The resulting heat will make the tower glow like a blinding beacon, or a steel-and-glass version of the Eye of Sauron, for Tolkien lovers.

This scene is not set to appear in a new science fiction film, either, but instead may become increasingly familiar as a form of solar energy production. Read more here…

Solar Sonoma County’s PV Design & Installation Course

John Lloyd, Instructor

Course Description:

While the world’s economy is slowly recovering and improving, we don’t have to tell you that the green collar economy is booming. This course will educate you in the design and installation of photovoltaic systems and will prepare you to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Entry Level Exam.  Upon successfully passing the open book test, you will receive a professional certificate, which can qualify you for immediate employment. Set your new career in motion! (Veteran’s encouraged to apply.)

Cost: $350 (Scholarships available for income qualified persons: contact Jason)

Register: Please click here to register

Location:

Sonoma Mountain Village, iHub

Sonoma State University Conference Room

1300 Valley House Dr. Rohnert Park, CA 94928

(Through double glass doors, far side of lounge, look for Solar Sonoma County sign next to door.)

Time:

9am-3pm

Bring your Own Lunch, light snacks and water will be provided.

2013 Sunday Class Sessions:

  • April 14, 21, 28

  • May 5, 12, 19, 26

  • June 2

Questions?

Contact: Jason Dunham

Jason@solarsonomacounty.org