CEC Awards $9 million to Demonstrate Advanced Energy Community in Los Angeles County
By Media Office Staff
The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently awarded a $9 million grant to demonstrate an advanced energy community that will provide affordable, locally produced renewable energy and energy services within a disadvantaged community in Los Angeles County.
The grant was awarded through the CEC's Electric Program Investment Challenge (EPIC) program. EPIC, which is California’s premier public interest research program, drives clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship to help meet the state’s climate and energy goals. More than $130 million is awarded annually to support innovations in energy efficiency, energy generation, storage, grid resiliency, renewable integration, electrified transportation, and to bring breakthroughs from the lab to the market.
About 65 percent of EPIC technology demonstration and deployment funded are invested in projects located in disadvantaged or low-income communities, according to the 2019 EPIC Highlights report.
The recipient of the $9 million grant is Irvine-based The Energy Coalition (TEC), a non-profit organization that works with communities, public agencies, and others to design and implement sustainability strategies.
TEC, in partnership with electricity provider Clean Power Alliance, will demonstrate how locally produced renewable and affordable energy can benefit residents of the adjoining Avocado Heights/Bassett area of Los Angeles County. The communities are located in the San Gabriel Valley, approximately 25 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, and are in the 90th percentile of California communities most burdened and vulnerable to multiple sources of pollution, according to the state of California. Almost 300 low-income households in the Bassett-Avocado Advanced Energy Community (BAAEC) will be powered by solar and storage resources. The community will also feature electric vehicle charging stations, van pooling and a micro-transit program.
The project is funded through the EPIC program’s EPIC Challenge, a two-phase design-build competition. Phase one began in 2016 when up to $1.5 million was awarded to 13 teams to plan and design advanced energy communities.
The BAAEC was among four selected to advance to the next phase where the clean energy innovations will be built out and demonstrated. The project is expected to reduce net electricity consumption by 96 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 64 percent over the project’s 25-year period.