Sonoma Clean Power: Starting Strong in 2015

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By Adrienne Tatman

Sonoma Clean Power has started the year off with some exciting successes. The first is a contract between Sonoma Clean Power and Pristine Sun to build the largest floating solar system in the country. This 12.5 megawatt system will power the equivalent of 3,000 homes. Solar panels will be on docks floating over wastewater treatment ponds in six locations in Sonoma County.

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The Sonoma County Water Agency identified these ponds as ideal sites for a ‘flotovoltaic’ system because of the low-impact they will have on the surrounding environment.

Geof Syphers, CEO of Sonoma Clean Power, declared this solar system to be the “first triple win” for SCP because it hits three primary objectives –supporting lower customer rates, built in Sonoma County, with 100% renewable power.

In other exciting news, customer participation in Sonoma Clean Power is higher than expected. The original projection was for 80 percent participation; in other words, that 20 percent of customers would choose PG&E. Instead, the participation rate is currently 89 percent, equal to about 156,000 accounts. Increased participation leads to an increase in sale revenues and an increase in cost savings to customers. 

Another important achievement is SCP’s recent power purchases that will keep customer rates low throughout 2015 and 2016. SCP customers now pay 6 to 9 percent less on total electric charges than their PG&E counterparts. Thus, the advantage of being a Sonoma Clean Power customer is increasing. 

Overall, 2015 is off to a good start for Sonoma Clean Power, and residents of Sonoma County should be excited for what the future of Sonoma Clean Power holds for them. 

Adrienne Tatman is the Renewable Energy Program Intern at The Climate Center and soon-to-be graduate of Sonoma State University’s Energy Management and Design program.

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