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San Bernardino County Energy Symposium Draws Desert Preservation Activists and Elected Officials

Center for
Climate Protection is there to answer questions and offer support


By Woody
Hastings, CCP  |  Jan. 27, 2016

About 100 community leaders and
clean energy advocates convened for a Local Energy Symposium on January 25th,
hosted by the Morongo Basin Conservation Association in Yucca Valley, not far from Joshua Tree
National Monument. Earlier
in the day
, a smaller group of elected officials, water
agency representatives, and other stakeholders attended a question-and-answer
session focused on Community Choice energy.

It was great to be there with my
colleagues Barbara Boswell of Lancaster Choice Energy and Bill
Powers, legendary San Diego-based energy engineer, to share our thoughts about
Community Choice with the desert community.

The purpose of the Local Energy
Symposium was to seek an answer to the question, “Is Community Choice [energy] the smart renewable energy option for the
Morongo Basin?” If the spirit of the question-and-answer period was any
indication, there is a lot of promise for the Morongo Basin and surrounding region.

Local Radio Station Z107.7FM was
on hand to report on the event and share some of the potential benefits of
Community Choice energy. One of the top reasons that the region is interested in
Community Choice is that they have not been benefitting from the large-scale
solar and wind projects and transmission lines in the region. The hope is that
with a local Community Choice agency, some of these projects could be developed
in a way that creates local jobs and circulates more dollars in the local
economy. Further down the road, it is hoped that such an agency would take on
more of the decision-making about what kinds of renewable energy projects are
developed in the service territory. The more power that is derived from local
renewable sources, the less need for long distance transmission lines and
towers marring the pristine desert views.

In other areas of San Bernardino County, the City of
has contracted with Good Energy to produce a Technical Study for a possible
Community Choice program. And the San Bernardino County Association
of Governments
is pursuing
a countywide assessment.

Stay tuned for more exciting news
and updates from the desert communities of San Bernardino County!

Photo caption: Woody Hastings (front row left) and Bill Powers (front row
right) share their experience and knowledge of the renewable energy model known
as Community Choice Aggregation while state, county, water and business leaders
listen and take note.   

Woody Hastings is the Renewable
Energy Implementation Manager for The Climate Center. He can be
reached at woody@theclimatecenter.org