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Solano County Joins MCE in Community Choice
Electricity Customers in County’s Unincorporated Areas to Gain Renewable Energy Options in 2020
March 5, 2019
SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. — On February 19, 2019, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved Solano County's membership within MCE's Joint Powers Authority, setting the stage for MCE to become the primary electricity provider for Allendale, Dixon Ridge, Elmira, Green Valley, and the rest of unincorporated Solano County in 2020. Solano joins Marin, Napa and Contra Costa counties, as well as the City of Benicia, in pioneering California’s first and longest-serving community choice aggregation (CCA) program.
"Partnering with MCE gives residents in unincorporated Solano County a choice they didn’t have previously," explained Solano County Supervisor and former Board Chair John M. Vasquez. "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."
Robust public discourse and community outreach were central to Solano County’s decision to join MCE. In early August 2018, over 7,300 Solano residents and businesses were notified by mail about the CCA option being considered. On August 20, 2018, the County Administrator’s Office (CAO) hosted a public workshop on CCA and invited MCE staff members to address questions from the community on a wide range of energy-related topics. Public comments at the workshop were decidedly supportive and on September 25, 2018, the Supervisors unanimously voted to join MCE.
“Truly one of the best aspects of this program is it gives you a choice,” emphasized County Supervisor and current Board Chair, Erin Hannigan.
A central part of MCE’s mission is to expand meaningful energy options to diverse communities. In 2014, Solano County was identified by The Atlantic as the fifth most racially diverse county in the United States. Moreover, with 80 percent of the County’s land dedicated to agriculture and open space, its membership substantially broadens MCE’s rural demographics. Thanks to the comprehensive, long-term planning by MCE’s staff and Board of Directors, MCE is well positioned to address the specific needs of rural customers. For example, MCE’s multi-year Energy Efficiency Business Plan includes more than $8 million for agricultural programs through 2025.
“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.”
MCE has proudly served the City of Benicia since 2015, also part of Solano County. Service to unincorporated Solano County is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2020. MCE has also opened a new community inclusion period through June 30, 2019, for additional Solano cities that may consider joining this year to receive service in 2021. This includes Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville, and Vallejo.
About MCE: MCE is California’s first Community Choice Aggregation Program, a not-for-profit, public agency that began service in 2010 with the goals of providing cleaner power at stable rates to its customers, reducing greenhouse emissions, and investing in targeted energy programs that support communities' energy needs. MCE is a load-serving entity supporting ~1,000 MW peak load. MCE provides electricity service to approximately 470,000 customer accounts and more than 1 million residents and businesses in 34 member communities across 4 Bay Area counties: Napa, Marin, Contra Costa and Solano. For more information about MCE, visit www.mceCleanEnergy.org