MCE Community Partnerships Support Resiliency Efforts

MCE Community Partnerships Support Resiliency Efforts

MCE is partnering with local community-based organizations to inform our resiliency program strategy, enabling us to more effectively serve our customers. As a public agency formed by local advocacy, community partnerships and collaborations are not only core to our mission but also offer a unique ability to create programs through grassroots engagement sensitive to local concerns.

Some examples of our resiliency partnerships include working with community-based and government organizations such as the offices of Health & Human Services, Office of Emergency Services, and Centers for Independent Living – all valuable partners helping to identify individuals who would most benefit from access to clean energy backup power resources in the event of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event or other power outage.

MCE has allocated $6 million to our newly-formed resiliency fund to provide battery storage for vulnerable customers and critical facilities. We plan to deploy 15 MWh of customer-sited storage over a two-year period with programs launching later this year. MCE will be prioritizing customers who are most impacted by power outages, specifically those located in a Tier 2 or 3 high-fire threat district, those who previously experienced two or more PSPS events, and those who are income qualified, live in a disadvantaged community, or depend on electrical devices for their medical needs.

Due to COVID-19 and the upcoming fire season, it is increasingly important to reduce potential crowding in critical facilities during a PSPS event. MCE’s goal is to invest in clean, non-polluting renewable energy systems that help medically vulnerable customers stay at home while also increasing the number of shelters available to any evacuees. These measures are especially important for people with respiratory health conditions, as wildfire smoke and particulate matter pollution from fossil-fuel backup power will pose additional danger during the COVID-19 pandemic. To support medically vulnerable individuals, MCE has also purchased 100 Yeti 3000 batteries to be donated in collaboration with local partners in the coming months.

In addition to these efforts MCE also recently:

  • Completed an assessment to deploy backup power for five critical community facilities in our service area utilizing expertise from the Office of Emergency Services in our member counties,
  • Committed to growing customer-sited storage to 70 MWh over the next five years with partnership from groups such as the Marin Community Foundation, which allocated $750,000 to MCE through the Buck Family Fund, and
  • Began installing battery storage to pair with our solar carport and EV charging stations at our San Rafael office, allowing a portion of our office to be used as a Community Resource Center during PSPS events.

For more information on MCE’s resiliency efforts and to sign up for our interest form, please visit our website at mceCleanEnergy.org/resiliency.

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