Groundwork San Diego: The Chollas EcoVillage Project
December 13, 2018
Energy Research and Development (500)
Electric Program Investment Charge - EPIC
Edward Lopez, Leslie Reynolds, Srinivas Sukumar
Innovations in energy require innovations in community interaction. This master planning project creates the framework for both, showing how to change the paradigm of the community from a limited role of consumer to an expanded role of creator, partner, leader, and owner. This transformation is essential in disadvantaged communities, as they are disproportionally affected by climate change.
Groundwork San Diego-Chollas Creek, a community-based organization, demonstrated pathways to create the Chollas EcoVillage, an advanced energy community located in the disadvantaged community of Encanto in San Diego. A unique partnership was forged between Groundwork, San Diego Unified School District and the University of California San Diego to develop a master plan to begin the build-out of the advanced energy community with an ultimate goal of near zero net energy (nZNE). This plan designed a connected system of distributed energy resources (DERs) to include photovoltaics, storage, and microgrid technologies. A portion of the generated energy will be regulated by a new California Community Solar Tariff; all energy generation and storage will contribute to improved energy safety, reliability and lower costs for the for energy for the community. Through extensive community survey and engagement efforts, the community expresses readiness to transition to an Advanced Energy Community.