Sonoma Clean Power launches EV initiative to build 500 new charging stations
- Sonoma Clean Power last week approved a plan to develop 500 new electric vehicle charging stations, with a long-term aim of attracting 10,000 additional electric vehicles.
- SCPs board of directors endorsed spending $3.5 million on green energy programs, including the EV program which they say will move money away from fossil fuel companies and back into the county's coffers.
- Sonoma Clean Power is a nonprofit power aggregator that began operations in 2014, serving almost a half million customers. Last year, it became the default provider to all communities in Sonoma County, ousting Pacific Gas and Electric.
Sonoma Clean Power's plan to boost charging infrastructure and attract electric vehicles is, in the long-term, a plan to bolster the county's economy by redirecting spending away from fossil fuels.
“Using electric cars to shift that money back into the county would possibly be one of the biggest business development opportunities this county has ever seen,” SCP CEO Geof Syphers told The Press Democrat.
The charging stations would be developed at a mix of at public and private locations around the county.
Sonoma Clean Power's board met last week to examine the utility's $151 million budget. The decision included a 2% rate cut for both commercial and residential customers. The utility is struggling to remain competitive with PG&E while providing a cleaner mix of power.
“So far, this agency has never raised rates, but don’t get used to that,” Syphers said. “We’ll have to raise rates eventually to keep up with inflation.”
After beginning service in 2014 to just 23,000 customers, the provider now serves almost a half million individuals. The only community in the county not procuring power through Sonoma Clean Power is Healdsburg, which runs its own municipal utility.
Correction: An earlier version of this post identified Sonoma Clean Power as a public utility. That was incorrect. SCP is a nonprofit community choice aggregator and unlike a public utility does not own transmission and distribution infrastructure.
- The Press Democrat via Energy Central Sonoma Clean Power endorses new spending on electric vehicle charging network
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