FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 18, 2018
Press Contact: Kalicia Pivirotto, MCE Marketing Manager
(415) 464-6036 | kpivirotto@mcecleanenergy.org

Think Globally, Build Locally

MCE, sPower, and City of Richmond Celebrate Bay Area’s Largest Public-Private Solar Partnership

Richmond, Calif. — Today, project partners MCE and sPower commemorate Earth Day with a ribbon cutting for MCE Solar One, a 60-acre solar farm that provides enough renewable electricity to serve 3,900 MCE customers annually.

“At 10.5 megawatts, MCE Solar One will eliminate 3,234 metric tons of carbon dioxide in one year, equivalent to taking more than 680 cars off of the road annually,” said Supervisor John Gioia. “California is leading the Nation in climate change initiatives, and this project demonstrates how, at the local level, we can support the State’s goal of 100% renewable energy use by 2045.”

The event coincides with MCE’s launch of service to more than 200,000 customers in Concord, Danville, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pinole, Pittsburg, San Ramon, and unincorporated Contra Costa County. MCE homes and businesses with Light Green 50% renewable energy service now benefit from a more renewable electricity option that costs two- to five percent less than PG&E.

“In today’s economic climate where many struggle with the rising cost of living in the Bay Area, MCE is committed to making renewable energy available to everyone through affordable rates and job opportunities with fair wages and career pathways,” said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “The Bay Area has a rich history of industrial labor and innovation, and we’re seeing this trend continue to thrive as innovative green jobs evolve into the cornerstone of California’s new economy.”

MCE Solar One supported 341 jobs and maximized local economic benefits through the City of Richmond’s 50 percent local workforce hiring requirement, in which Richmond-based contractors, suppliers and union labor were employed. MCE partnered with RichmondBUILD, which has successfully graduated hundreds of students and placed an impressive 80 percent of its graduates into well-paying jobs, to train and hire skilled, local graduates for the project. In addition, approximately $1.8M was spent on project materials purchased or rented in Contra Costa County, further supporting the local economy.

“MCE’s commitment to working with unions, paying prevailing wages, and hiring locally sets an important standard that can be replicated throughout the state with the growing number of community choice programs who are putting steel in the ground to supply their customers with new California renewables,” said Steve Weisinger, Overaa Construction Project Manager/Estimator, Member of Carpenters Local Union #152

Conceived by the Richmond community to integrate renewable energy and solar facilities in the Chevron Modernization Project, MCE Solar One repurposes 60 acres of a remediated brownfield site generously leased by Chevron to MCE for $1 per year. The project was partially funded by MCE’s Deep Green 100% renewable energy customers, who pay a penny per kilowatt-hour premium for pollution-free wind and solar power produced in California. Half of this premium is then used to help fund the build out of local solar projects like MCE Solar One.

“sPower was excited to work with MCE, Chevron, and the City of Richmond to bring this project online,” said Hans Isern, SVP of Power Marketing with sPower. “MCE and the City of Richmond will be closer to their clean energy goals, and we’re proud to help bring jobs, energy, and other benefits to the local Bay Area communities.”

MCE Solar One’s array incorporates many U.S.-made materials, including Solectria central inverters, ballast blocks from Universal Precast Concrete in Redding, California, I-beam posts used for tracker foundations, aluminum frames for the Schletter racks on the landfill ballast system, and all of the disconnects and panel boards by Eaton.

“MCE Solar One produces enough renewable energy to serve nearly six percent of Richmond’s electricity load,” said Mayor Tom Butt of Richmond. “I’m proud that we’re not only generating electricity close to home, but that collaboration between MCE, sPower, Chevron, Cenergy Power, the City of Richmond, RichmondBUILD, and local unions makes this the largest public-private solar partnership in the Bay Area.”

For information about other MCE renewable projects in the Bay Area, visit mceCleanEnergy.org/local-projects.