Local MCE Program Inspires Statewide Effort to Prevent Summer Blackouts
$161 million earmarked for new energy efficiency and grid reliability programs
SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. — The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has just approved $150 million to fund a new statewide program, based on the success of MCE’s Peak FLEXmarket which will also receive $11 million for program implementation over the next two years.
MCE’s first-of-its-kind Peak FLEXmarket Program drives energy efficiency, decarbonization, and peak energy reduction by integrating a wide range of distributed energy technologies like smart thermostats, energy storage, and electric vehicle chargers. By offering a payment for measured hourly energy reductions when the grid needs it most, regardless of how it was achieved, the program ensures that incentives match the value of energy usage and that various solutions work together in a coordinated way.
"There's a lot of innovation here...I think it's really worth underscoring some of the things in this decision...are really cutting edge nationally…” said CPUC Commissioner Rechtschaffen during the voting meeting on December 2. “I want to extend my appreciation to Marin Clean Energy. Their FLEXmarket program forms the template for a good bit of what we did here and it shows the value of allowing them to implement these programs and do experimentation."
The Peak FLEXmarket Program invites energy efficiency and demand response providers — such as OhmConnect, CLEAResult, and Swell — to help homes and businesses rapidly reduce energy use during 4-9 p.m. summer high demand peaks to reduce electric grid congestion that can lead to blackouts. In exchange, MCE pays the providers for the verified energy savings during peak hours, with an added premium during periods of grid stress, which can be passed along to participants.
“As California’s first and longest operating community choice provider, we quickly launch creative, local programs to address California’s most pressing energy needs,” says Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “We’re thrilled that our Peak FLEXmarket Program can be used as a statewide model to help keep the lights on and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Peak FLEXmarket program is one of many ways MCE is increasing access to clean energy resources to reduce grid strain and reach California’s clean energy targets with both supply and demand side solutions. Learn more about MCE’s efforts to increase grid reliability here.
Visit MCE's website to download the release.
About MCE: MCE is a groundbreaking, not-for-profit, public agency that has been setting the standard for clean energy in our communities since 2010. MCE offers more renewable power at stable rates, significantly reducing energy-related greenhouse emissions and enabling millions of dollars of reinvestment in local energy programs. MCE is a load-serving entity supporting a 1,200 MW peak load. MCE provides electricity service and innovative programs to more than 540,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents and businesses in 37 member communities across four Bay Area counties: Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, and Solano. For more information about MCE, visit mceCleanEnergy.org, or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.