City Celebrates Community Solar Achievement, Proposes More Renewables
The City of Davis City Council issued a proclamation at their Tuesday night, April 19, regular meeting that not only celebrates the community achievement and the Cool Davis-City of Davis collaboration on the “Double Up on Solar” campaign goal, finishing with a total of 4,598 residential rooftop solar photovoltaic systems citywide as of Feb 2022, but also challenges residents with the means to do so to adopt 100% renewable energy either through a rooftop solar photovoltaic system, choosing energy provider Valley Clean Energy’s UltraGreen option for 100% renewable energy, or purchasing an electric vehicle.
The original goal deadline was set for 2020 but the pandemic disrupted that timeline. Representatives from the City and Cool Davis are happy that progress did continue despite pandemic work stoppages, supply chain disruptions, and quarantines.
The City estimates that “Davis residential solar PV installations equate to GHG reduction of over 20,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year or the equivalent of carbon sequestration by 909,000 trees.”
The accomplishment is especially remarkable considering the watts per person from rooftop solar photovoltaic systems in Davis is second only to that of Honolulu, the perpetuate Shining Cities Report winner for most solar per capita among big cities. Including commercial and government based photovoltaic systems, and a 2020 population of about 70,000 (a bit low in our 2020 no-student pandemic census year), Davis scores an impressive 484 watts per person of solar with this new milestone.
The report ranks the City of Los Angeles with the highest total wattage with 483.8MW DC capacity in 2020, and the City of Honolulu with the greatest watts DC per capita at 840.88.
The proclamation reports that “Davis solar PV systems represent 33% of total Yolo County residential rooftop systems and an investment of over $100,000,000 by local homeowners” and that this “community solar PV achievement has contributed to an overall decline in electricity demand in our community since 2010, despite building more homes and other increased electricity demand such as electric vehicle charging.”
The achievement will be feted properly during an Environmental Recognition Awards event to be held in-person at Peregrine School Wednesday night, for the first time since 2019, including the awardees for all three “pandemic” years.
Aaron Nitzkin of Citadel Roofing and Solar, John Walters of RepowerYolo, and Jon Gemma of Aztec Solar were members of the campaign planning team, along with City of Davis Sustainability Coordinator, Kerry Loux, and Tessa Tobar and Mitch Sears of Valley Clean Energy. Cool Davis staff members Chris Granger, Christine Backman, Erin Reddy, and Leslie Crenna also participated on the campaign task force, as well as Alex Sauerwein, a Civic Spark Fellow.
Listen to event coverage by DHS student Mattias Rowenbale on the Blue Devil Hub podcast “The News Cycle”
Shining Cities website and report
Find out more at our solar campaign page.
The full text of the proclamation follows:
PROCLAMATION RECOGNIZING CITY OF DAVIS ATTAINING “DOUBLE UP ON SOLAR” GOALS
WHEREAS, the City of Davis is now fully engaged in the 2020-2040 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan Update to the 2010 CAAP in order to chart an ambitious, actionable, and measurable course for the community’s path to carbon neutrality by 2040, with interim goal setting in 2030, in support of our City and our planet; and
WHEREAS, the City of Davis recognizes that building energy comprises close to 20%, and transportation-related uses comprise close to 70%, of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, based on the 2020 Regionally Integrated GHG Inventory and previous GHG Inventories since 2008; and
WHEREAS, the City of Davis has partnered with the non-profit community-based organization Cool Davis since 2010 to engage households with communications and programming to encourage GHG emissions reduction, including investment in rooftop solar, opting up to 100% renewable energy options from local utilities, purchasing electric vehicles to replace internal combustion vehicles, and other actions; and
WHEREAS, the City of Davis established rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) goals for the community in the 2010 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP), which included a total of 1,733 home rooftop PV systems providing at least 2.6 megawatts by 2015; and
WHEREAS, the City of Davis. with Cool Davis’ support and advocacy, implemented a Residential Rooftop Solar Ordinance in 2015 requiring all new construction projects to include rooftop solar, which was five years ahead of the state of California requirements; and
WHEREAS, by spring of 2016, the Davis community had exceeded the 2015 targets in the 2010 CAAP with a total of 2,360 installations resulting in approximately 12.7 megawatts of rooftop solar, or a ten-fold increase in the established 2010 energy production target; and
WHEREAS, in mid-2016, the City and Cool Davis designed and launched the new “Double up on Solar” campaign seeking to double the number of systems in the next five years to 4,500 systems providing 24 MW of power; and
WHEREAS, as of February 2022, Davis has attained our aggressive 2016 “Double Up on Solar” goals with installation of a total of 4,598 residential rooftop solar systems comprising nearly 24.5 MW of power, with a total of 33.9 MW of power production when commercial and government PV is included; and
WHEREAS, the Davis residential solar PV installations equate to GHG reduction of over 20,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year or the equivalent of carbon sequestration by 909,000 trees; and
WHEREAS, these Davis solar PV systems represent 33% of total Yolo County residential rooftop systems and an investment of over $100,000,000 by local homeowners in this important renewable energy resource in our community; and
WHEREAS, this community solar PV achievement has contributed to an overall decline in electricity demand in our community since 2010, despite building more homes and other increased electricity demand such as electric vehicle charging; and
WHEREAS, current residential opportunities include the Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credit of 26% of solar PV costs that is available at least through the end of 2022, adding battery backup systems for resilience and energy stability, adding solar PV as a part of overall energy retrofit strategy removing natural gas heating and hot water systems from homes, paired with electric vehicle acquisition in order to reduce Davis’ transportation-related emissions;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Davis City Council, on behalf of the citizens of Davis, do hereby challenge households that have the resources to move forward to adopt 100% renewable solutions including either solar PV, choosing Valley Clean Energy UltraGreen option for 100% renewable energy, or purchasing an electric vehicle.
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