MCE Strengthens Energy Resilience Among Marin’s Most Vulnerable in Partnership with MCF

MCE Strengthens Energy Resilience Among Marin’s Most Vulnerable in Partnership with MCF

In 2019 many Marin residents were left without power due to widespread public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events. Those outages demonstrated our collective vulnerability and our need for increased energy resilience and emergency preparedness. In response, MCE is developing resilience hubs to support Marin’s most vulnerable populations during future outages. The efforts are made possible by a $750,000 grant from the Buck Family Fund of the Marin Community Foundation (MCF), which supports MCE’s development of solar and storage solutions for local nonprofit, critical facilities and low-income, multifamily housing projects.

"The MCF grant has created new opportunities to deploy community-focused energy resilience throughout Marin County, especially in communities that historically have had access to fewer resources. Pairing solar and storage together helps these customers reduce their operational costs, increase their energy resilience and reliability, and continue to provide community services when the power goes out." – Sean Sevilla, MCE Manager of Customer Programs

MCE is currently working with several sites and organizations in Marin to develop community-tailored resilience solutions. This blog describes two of those projects.

Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy

Marin City has a much higher poverty rate than surrounding areas and most residents don’t have access to energy resilience resources such as home batteries. Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in the Sausalito Marin City School District was selected for a solar and battery storage project to support the community and provide backup power during outages. The school is a designated evacuation site with a commercial kitchen and can serve over 360 people during emergencies. This project was approved thanks to the support from The Climate Center and the leadership of Superintendent Itoco Garcia, the School District Board.

“We are so appreciative of the patience, diligence, and partnership that brought this opportunity to the Marin City community and the School District. This solar storage project allows us to continue to lead in keeping school open during emergency situations when it is in the best interest of our students and families. This project represents the type of integrated partnerships that truly deliver on the community school model, where schools are the center of community life.” – Itoco Garcia, Superintendent of Marin City Sausalito School District

Lagunitas School District and San Geronimo Valley Community Center

The Lagunitas School District and San Geronimo Valley Community Center have shared a site for many years. They are in a high-fire-threat district that is prone to outages. MCE is working with the Lagunitas School District and San Geronimo Valley Community Center to pair their existing 60-kilowatt solar array with battery storage. The proposed project will reduce their dependency on a fossil-fuel-powered generator and make it possible for these central gathering places to serve up to 1,000 community members during a future emergency.

"I’ve been involved in the solar industry since the mid-1990s. I moved into battery storage because I see it as the next step in market viability and expansion for solar adoption. With these projects, we are creating positive change and innovating market-based renewable energy solutions. My hope is that these solutions will be adopted by many others in the future and help support the rising tide of clean energy.” – Kirk Stokes, primary project developer and lead trade ally installer

MCE is proud to partner with MCF and community advocates to further energy resilience while centering the needs of vulnerable populations. Learn more about MCE’s commitment to energy resilience and reliability here.

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