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Locals aren't buying Palo Alto's newest green-energy program

Original post made on Aug 21, 2012

Palo Alto may be land of the green and home of the tech-savvy, but the city's latest renewable-energy program has so far failed to achieve even a spark of participation from local customers, forcing officials to go back to the drawing board.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 17, 2012, 12:00 AM

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Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 21, 2012 at 9:37 am

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

This was a great article, exploring many possible options and tradeoffs in creating a system to get businesses to install solar power for local generation. The city council and staff deserve praise for trying to find a way to get more local renewable energy installed, driven by the market, and without raising rates. It makes sense that additional tweaking of the parameters are needed for this innovative program. Offering up city-owned rooftops is a good idea. Another option could be better incentives paid for by the higher rates paid by those in the Palo Alto Green program, who would likely be jazzed to be getting green energy locally instead of just somewhere.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

Ah,yes, Cedric......but spell out what you really mean by "jazzed to be getting green energy locally" You were one of the leaders, pushers, and shakers of Measure M to undedicate Bayland Area parkland - and build an anerobic digester out there...... But what is really the estimated cost, Cedric???? Someplace about 50-100 million? Add that to the unfunded pension liabiity, and we'll be joining Stockton, Vallejo, San Bernadino, and other cities. Going 'green" could burn us "red'.

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Posted by Cedric de La Beaujardiere
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 22, 2012 at 12:56 am

Cedric de La Beaujardiere is a registered user.

Bob, "what I really mean" is that the PA Green program pays for Renewable Energy Credits, not necessarily locally generated renewable energy, so participants would likely be jazzed to be funding projects in their own city.

You're referring to Measure E (not M) which rezoned 10 acres of the recently closed dump, immediately adjacent to the sewage treatment plant, from Byxbee Park to allow the site to be used for converting our organic wastes (sewage, food, and yard wastes) into energy and/or compost.

As for its cost, it's really a savings. The independent financial feasibility study (Web Link) indicated that local handling of organic wastes could save Palo Alto $40 million over 20 years, compared to the city's default plan of sending food and yard waste 53 miles away to southern Gilroy.

Yet another case where being green can save us green.

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