The ZipPower Project: Managing San Leandro’s Energy Future
At Mayor Cutter’s State of the City address early in 2016, Mayor Cutter announced just-released news from the California Energy Commission: ZipPower Inc., in collaboration with the City of San Leandro, OSIsoft, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, GELI, PG&E and other partners were the recipients of a $1.5M grant under the EPIC: Advanced Energy Communities program. Coming in 2nd in a field of 10 applicants statewide, the ZipPower project proposes to design an energy system and provide “technical proof-of-concept to accelerate and scale distributed energy resource planning across entire community areas and cities”.
What does this mean for San Leandro? This 18-month CEC grant provides San Leandro opportunity to be the pilot city in a new public/private collaboration to design a citywide local energy program that can be scaled rapidly to other communities. The ZipPower platform proposes:
- economies of scale for deploying solar, battery storage, electric vehicle chargers and other energy-related hardware;
- connecting renewable energy assets through PG&E and Lit San Leandro into a San Leandro-based micro grid that provides grid resilience, security and reduced energy costs; and
- proposes substantial economic benefits through new local jobs and entrepreneurship; and
- confirms San Leandro as a center for energy innovation
After months of waiting for the grant contracts to be finalized, last week the City executed its agreement with ZipPower and the CEC. The ZipPower team’s early tasks will include:
- creation of a software platform designed to invite the San Leandro community to learn how to control their energy future and reduce energy costs; and
- engagement with San Leandro industrial/commercial businesses and building owners with proposals to deploy solar energy systems.
If this design phase proves successful, the ZipPower project will be eligible for a new round of CEC implementation grants in 2018, up to $8.0M.
Data presented by ZipPower shows that if only 25% of San Leandro industrial rooftops were covered by solar and battery storage (approximately 100 megawatts of power), San Leandro would be able to replace 25% of its total electrical needs with local, renewable energy. San Leandro’s ability to scale renewable energy will also boost this City’s ability to meet its Climate Action Plan goals.
San Leandro’s proposed ability to generate renewable energy from its own rooftops and parking sites coincides with the decision of Alameda County and its cities to create the first “East Bay Community Energy Authority“. Sometime in 2017, PG&E customers in participating cities will be given the opportunity to choose the extent to which their energy comes from renewable resources. The ZipPower project builds the potential of using locally-sourced renewable energy instead of energy transmitted over hundreds of miles from large solar or windpower farms.
Look for significant developments in 2017, including an announcement about the construction of San Leandro’s first micro grid!
Want to learn more about ZipPower plans to create a Smart Energy Network in San Leandro? Check out the ZipPower web site or just click on the short video below.
How does San Leandro’s OSIsoft fit into our City’s energy future? Check out how PI software and Lit San Leandro provides our City with a unique advantage: