The Economics of Solar

SEED Fund RFP Update (January 22, 2017)

The County of Santa Cruz continues to lead local Solar Energy and Economic Development (SEED) fund Monterey Bay Area collaborative procurement efforts in
support of nine jurisdictions in the Tri-County area. The project designed to empower public agencies and special districts to evaluate solar PV by using the revolving fund to defray upfront costs for the participants.

An RFP released in late 2016 identified a total of 37 MW in potential solar PV capacity from 32 sites across nine jurisdictions. The County has completed the review of the RFP’s and anticipates making an award by the end of February, 2017.

Here are the results if all projects in the SEED Fund RFP are built as proposed:

  • Santa Cruz County: 9 potential sites; 9.3 MW; 2,487 metric tons CO2 offset annually
  • Monterey County: 19 potential sites; 27.1 MW; 9,025 metric tons CO2 offset annually
  • San Benito County: 188 kW; 50 metric tons CO2 offset annually


A Forum on Solar Energy for Public Agencies

Solar Panel of Experts

Communities for Sustainable Monterey County coordinated a county-wide forum in November 2014 — a gathering of supervisors, city council members, mayors, city managers, staff, and other decision makers from cities and the county — to introduce them to solar providers and energy experts. Our presenting panel of experienced experts was chosen specifically to show how civic institutions can work through the sometimes complex civic financing. 

We encouraged them to realize the potential for savings to taxpayers, and to serve the community into the future. The time has never been better for taking advantage of the strong new wave towards a sustainable, secure energy supply.

We were delighted at the response and enthusiastic interest, and now ask CSMC members and readers of this page to continue this effort by urging your city council, managers, and local decision makers to move forward on the solarization of civic buildings, including schools, institutions, and city and county buildings. 

Below are links to the presentation material.  We will also make available at request a CD of the event, thanks to videographer Hebard Olsen. Read the 12/12/14 Monterey County Herald commentary by Heidi Zamzow at this link.

Master of Ceremonies Dan Cort, former Mayor, Pacific Grove 

Keynote Address by Joe Jordan, astrophysicist and solar champion

Panelists and Presentations:

René L. Mendez, City Manager, City of Gonzales
Presentation: Gonzales Grows Green  
      G3 Vision: Fiscal, Environmental, Operational Responsibility

Rick Brown, President, Terra Verde Renewable Partners, LLC
Presentation: Best Practices in Bidding Solar Projects

Caroline Judy, Deputy Director, Alameda County General Services
Presentation: Creative Collaborative Solutions

David Leifer, Senior Managing Director, KNN Inc.
Presentation: Financing Methods for Renewable Energy Projects

Ben Foster, CMA, CFM, Senior Vice-President, Americas, Optony Inc.
Presentation: Collaborative Solar Procurement – Vendor Selection

Brad Vance, Utilities Analyst, County of Santa Clara
Presentation: Scope of the County of Santa Clara Solar Project