EDITOR: There are good reasons to support Sonoma Clean Power — reducing greenhouse gases, competition for PG&E, choice for consumers and cycling ratepayer dollars in the local economy. To me, this last reason is the most compelling. Beginning now, Sonoma Clean Power and its participating communities have an opportunity to forge an energy-based economic engine benefiting Sonoma County far into the future.
Though Sonoma Clean Power may be initially constrained by using energy purchased from outside providers, it can and should implement policies and programs that support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects using local resources.
For example, it could provide incentives to build small- to medium-sized solar systems using local design, construction and financial resources. These systems would be located on homes, businesses and appropriate open land. A solar system can not only offset the electricity used by its owner, it can over-produce. This "over-production" has a market value that could benefit both the system's owner and Sonoma Clean Power.
Fuel provided by the sun is free of cost and environmental baggage.
As a board member of Solar Sonoma County, I urge all cities in Sonoma County to join Sonoma Clean Power and guide its implementation for the maximum benefit of our local communities.