4 Reasons Why MCE’s Local Sol Makes Access to Solar More Equitable

4 Reasons Why MCE’s Local Sol Makes Access to Solar More Equitable

Discover how a local solar farm is making the case for renewable energy:
● Local Sol transitioned from MCE’s most expensive service to its least expensive service in six years.
● The solar farm has reduced 723 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
● The 340 residents enrolled in Local Sol save about $100 a year compared to PG&E’s service.

Not everyone is a homeowner, and not every home can have solar panels. So, what are the options for renters, folks who can’t afford solar, and those with homes unsuited for rooftop solar?

MCE’s Local Sol service option is a game changer, helping to harness the power of locally produced solar. With energy produced by a local solar farm in MCE’s service area, it’s as “local and sustainable” as it gets.

How does it work?

The energy delivered to Local Sol customers comes from MCE’s 1.1 megawatt Cooley Quarry Solar Farm in Novato. The solar farm has reduced 723 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to over 81,000 gallons of gasoline.

Local Sol is currently fully enrolled, powering 340 homes in MCE’s service area with lower-cost, 100% renewable solar power. Thirty-five percent of these households are low-income and many live in some of the most environmentally impacted communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What’s the big deal?

1. Local Sol supplies cleaner power at lower cost to customers.

As of early 2023, Local Sol is MCE’s lowest-cost service option for customers.

When Local Sol launched as a new service option in 2017, it was around 30% more expensive than MCE’s Deep Green service. MCE’s commitment to stable rates offered by long-term energy contracts and thoughtful purchase of renewable energy have helped make Local Sol the least expensive service option for customers today. As of 2023, community members enrolled in Local Sol save on average about $100 a year compared to PG&E’s service.

This local project is yet another example of how renewable energy is the obvious choice for cleaner, cost-competitive energy.

 2. It expands clean energy access.

Low-income residents in underserved areas of Richmond, Vallejo, and unincorporated Antioch now power their homes with lower cost, 100% local solar energy. Community members in these areas are among the most burdened by environmental pollution in the Bay Area.

Historically, people in communities of concern have experienced more negative environmental impacts than the average person due to policies that fail to protect them from environmental harm. This Solar Farm is a great example of how MCE is supporting the clean energy transition for people who are most impacted by climate change.

3. It supports local, green jobs.

Local residents filled half of the jobs to build the Cooley Quarry Solar Farm, with 4,354 solar panels on seven acres. Renewable energy projects like this one are supporting local, family-sustaining jobs, while helping our community confront climate change. These jobs are part of the 6,000 clean energy jobs MCE has helped create in California since 2010.

4. It reimagines land use.

The Cooley Quarry Solar Farm is built on an abandoned rock mine that was found to have asbestos, leaving limited options for how the land could be used. Once the site was remediated, it was the prime location for a solar farm to power nearby residents.

The case for renewables

MCE’s 22 local renewable projects are key to the larger network of statewide and out-of-state clean energy projects needed to help California reach its goal of 100% renewable and zero carbon electricity by 2045.

Game changing efforts like Local Sol highlight that renewable energy is the obvious choice to help us meet our climate goals, while creating quality, green jobs. Together, we’re making swift strides toward a clean energy future.

Ready to opt up to cleaner energy? The Local Sol service has reached capacity and is currently closed to new enrollment. However, we invite you to choose Deep Green, our other 100% renewable service option.

Opt Up to MCE Deep Green

Opt In to MCE Light Green

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