The MCE board at its Nov. 21 meeting approved $3 million in funding to support resiliency projects aimed at helping customers and communities in the four counties it serves.
The community choice aggregator is working with area organizations to identify critical facilities and sites serving vulnerable customers in order to focus its initial investments.
Through the programs, the CCA is seeking to alleviate problems caused by public-safety power shut-offs. To date, there have been six PSPS events this year in the MCE area that have affected roughly 240,000 customer accounts.
"MCE is committed to creating climate resilience within the communities we serve—building on our history of delivering community benefits and local energy projects," MCE CEO Dawn Weisz said. "Our multi-pronged approach to resiliency will mirror the same best practices that we've relied on successfully over the past 10 years—leveraging strong community partnerships, focusing on vulnerable customers, and targeting our community investments to meet gaps and accelerate progress."
The effort is one of many resiliency initiatives planned by the CCA. It is already working on adding energy storage and islanding capability to its own solar infrastructure, which will allow it to operate during PSPS events, and is also looking at providing incentives to existing solar customers who add storage capabilities to their systems.
MCE also has an energy development fund that has created 12 local renewable-energy projects in its service area, which are providing approximately 25 MW of capacity to customers.
At the same meeting, the MCE board voted to add Vallejo and Pleasant Hill to its membership. Roughly 64,000 electric service accounts will be added to MCE as a result. The CCA serves 34 member communities in Solano, Marin, Napa and Contra Costa counties, with a peak load of about 1,000 MW.
The cities' addition is still subject to California Public Utilities Commission approval, which is expected in early 2020. Electricity customers in the two cities are due to begin receiving service from MCE in 2021.