Solano County joins Bay Area renewable energy network MCE
The California Public Utilities Commission on Feb. 19 approved Solano County's membership within clean-energy provider MCE's joint powers authority, paving the way for MCE to become Solano's primary electricity-service provider in unincorporated areas.
Communities covered by the agreement include Allendale, Dixon Ridge, Elmira, Green Valley and the rest of unincorporated Solano, according to an announcement March 5. Service will begin in spring 2020.
Solano joins Marin, Napa and Contra Costa counties in pioneering the state's first and longest-serving community choice aggregation (CCA) program, according to the press release. MCE has been providing service since 2015 to Benicia in southern Solano.
Solano County supervisors voted unanimously on Sept. 25 to join MCE, following a public workshop held in August.
MCE is a not-for-profit public agency that began service as Marin Clean Energy in 2010. It provides electricity service to approximately 470,000 customer accounts and more than 1 million residents and businesses in 34 member communities across the aforementioned four Bay Area counties.
“Partnering with MCE gives residents in unincorporated Solano County a choice they didn't have previously,” said John M. Vasquez, Solano County supervisor and former board chairman, in the announcement. “Green energy is the way of the future and it's exciting to have an alternative energy provider that not only allows residents to be part of the clean energy revolution, but helps address the goals of Solano County's Climate Action Plan and the state's aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020."
MCE also has opened a new community inclusion period through June 30 for additional Solano cities to consider joining the program. The cities include Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville and Vallejo, according to MCE and the county. Service would begin in 2021.
“MCE is honored to welcome Solano County into our service area and to help bring the benefits of clean energy to its local communities,” said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “Our shared goal is to empower electricity customers to invest in a more sustainable future.”
A central part of MCE's mission is to expand clean energy options to diverse communities, it said. With 80 percent of the county's land dedicated to agriculture and open space, its membership substantially broadens MCE's rural demographics, according to the provider.
“Truly one of the best aspects of this program is it gives you a choice,” Erin Hannigan, county supervisor and current board chair, stated in the announcement.
MCE's multiyear energy-efficiency business plan includes more than $8 million for agricultural programs through 2025, it said. For more information, visit www.mceCleanEnergy.org