For Immediate Release: April 18, 2012
Media Contact: Percy D. Della - 916-654-4989
Development of Renewable Energy on State Property Gets Boost
California High-Speed Rail Authority Joins Other State Agencies in Green Movement
The California Energy Commission announced today the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has joined a coalition of state agencies committed to produce renewable energy on state property.
The CHSRA is the latest to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the goal of installing renewable energy systems on state owned-buildings, rights-of-way, vacant lands and other assets.
The MOU is an agreement that targets the generation of 2,500 megawatts of renewable capacity to help meet California's overall Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS). The RPS requires utilities to obtain 33 percent of their power from renewables by 2020. The project also seeks to cut the state's electricity costs, create revenue and green jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"The decision of the CHSRA under its new chairman, Dan Richard, to join the MOU is a welcome development," said Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. "It shows the Authority's commitment under Dan to boost the state's renewable goal in its own operations."
"As the program evolves, the plan is to build infrastructure for renewable power on state-owned property," said Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman. "We welcome the California High-Speed Rail Authority for making green power a high priority as it prepares for electric-powered bullet-trains to meet the state's growing demands for new transportation infrastructure."
"The High-Speed Rail Authority is committed to building a system that minimizes impacts to the natural and built environment. Today, we illustrate that commitment by joining the Energy Commission's MOU," said High-Speed Rail Board Chair Dan Richard. "A high-speed rail system built and operated with renewable energy will help address California's pressing issues of climate change, traffic and airport congestion and unsustainable fossil-fuel dependency."
On December 15, 2010, the Energy Commission adopted the MOU with the Department of General Services, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Department of Water Resources, and the Department of Fish and Game. Later, the California State Lands Commission, the University of California and California State University systems signed the MOU that includes an option for additional agencies to join in the future. The MOU is effective through June 30, 2014.
The signatories, working as a collective group will study, plan, and develop energy generating infrastructure on state government premises. They will work on a consistent procurement strategy and contract language in requests for proposals (RFP) and develop one or more statewide RFP solicitations for developers of green power on state-owned properties.
A staff report was adopted by the Energy Commission this year to jump-start implementation of the MOU. The report focuses on several renewable technologies such as solar, wind, biomass, fuel cells, geothermal and hydroelectric energy.
According to the report, aptly titled "Developing Renewable Generation on State Property," California has vast potential to develop renewable energy facilities on state property, including local resources, to meet its energy needs.
The report focuses on localized energy, or distributed generation (DG), which is onsite or small energy systems located close to where energy is consumed, can be constructed quickly without new transmission lines and with little to no environmental impact.
In addition to DG, the report also examines the potential for developing utility-scale renewable facilities on state-owned properties.
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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.