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SPARC Forum
Seeking YOUR Input on San Bernardino County's Renewable Energy Future
The San Bernardino County Partnership for Renewable Energy & Conservation (SPARC) is creating a Renewable Energy Element for the General Plan and there are many ways you can participate! Provide input via our open forum topics, learn more about the project and join us at one of the upcoming events.

Comments, questions, suggestions?  Email County Staff

NEWS

Planning Commission Approves Renewable Energy and Conservation Element

The San Bernardino County Planning Commission reviewed and approved the Draft Renewable Energy and Conservation Element, with recommendations for minor adjustments, at the public hearing held November 3, 2016. The Element is currently being modified and will be scheduled for a Board of Supervisors hearing, shortly.  Announcement of the hearing will be sent out via this Forum for those who have signed up for email notifications.

Draft Renewable Energy Element Available for Review!

The Draft Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (REC Element) will be presented to the San Bernardino County Planning Commission at a Study Session Workshop to be held August 4, 2016 from 9 am to 11 am.  The Workshop is designed  to provide an introduction of the Draft REC Element and to initiate a public review period of at least 60 days. The meeting purpose is for discussion and information-exchange only.  No action by the Commission will be required.

PLACE OF WORKSHOP:    

County of San Bernardino Government Center

Covington Chambers- First Flr, 385 North Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino, CA  92415

Remote Video Conferencing will be available:
Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center  15900 Smoke Tree Street, Hesperia, CA  92345
Bob Burke Joshua Tree County Gov. Center   63665 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Joshua Tree, CA  92552

To access the REC Element http://cms.sbcounty.gov/lus/Planning/PlanningCommission/Agenda.aspx

The March 2015 Background Report to the Draft Renewable Energy and Conservation Element prepared by PMC can be accessed via the following link:

REC Element Background Report - PMC March 2015.pdf

A key supporting document used to inform the REC Element’s policies is the REVEAL Initiative Report, prepared by Aspen Environmental Group under direction of County Planning staff over this past year. This document is available via the following link: 
Interested persons may submit comments or questions in writing prior to the workshop or appear in person and be heard at the time of workshop.  Opportunity to comment on various aspects of the REC Element will also be available on this Forum in approximately one week.

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Community Solar Development Opportunity!

 The following program represents a great opportunity to assist in establishing a community-oriented solar project that brings direct benefit to your community. 

   

The U.S. Department of Energy is looking for input on an upcoming SunShot community solar competition:

“The SunShot Initiative is soliciting feedback on a prize challenge structure wherein hundreds of local teams would participate by bringing community solar programs and projects to their communities. The goal of the challenge is to enable the expansion of the solar market to a diverse array of new consumers, including low- and moderate-income customers, and nonprofit community-serving organizations. Competing teams will be eligible for cash prizes and technical assistance from the Department of Energy and other experts nationwide. As a result of this challenge, teams will build local capacity around the legal, technical, financial, and administrative aspects of community solar programs and projects, and solar access will expand to new people across the country.”

Specifics of the competition can be accessed through the link below.  Input is due to DOE by August 2, 2016.  The competition will be released sometime in the fall.

http://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/request-information-community-solar-challenge

 

If you have ideas, please share and get involved! 

 

 

SPARC Phase 2 Webinar

The County of San Bernardino is continuing progress on its General Plan Renewable Energy and Conservation Element.  SPARC Phase 1 ended with a policy Framework for the Element.  SPARC Phase 2 will culminate in a report assessing the economic, environmental, and social benefits and costs of renewable energy generation within the County.  Since January 2016, ten Stakeholder interviews have been conducted, two Policy Focus Groups were held, and five Community Outreach Meetings were hosted in various locations throughout the County.  Much valuable information has been received to-date .  

Community Outreach will continue through the provision of a web-oriented “town hall-type” meeting, whose goal is to further explain and explore the potential tools available for implementing community-oriented renewable energy projects. Tool categories include: Organizational, Neighborhood/Community Systems, Educational, Regulatory, and Funding.

          Outreach Webinar for SPARC Phase 2

          Explore the potential tools available for implementing community-oriented renewable energy projects.

          Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 11 am to Noon PDT

          Registration is available via the following link:

          https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6769895776264668673

If you have trouble accessing the Webinar due to computer system constraints, viewing will be available at the High Desert Government Center, 15900 Smoke Tree Street, Hesperia, CA  92345, Room 122.

Check in at the front counter for an access badge. Ask for John Oquendo, Senior Planner (760) 995-8153

Link to the: Essergy Consulting Funding Tools Handout

Link to the:  Webinar PowerPoint.

We look forward to your participation!

New Additions to the  Resource Library

New links have been added to the Resource Library related to renewable energy cost benefit studies and community oriented renewable energy projects.  Check them out and send your own suggestions for links and/or studies for us to review.

Let your Voice be Heard!

New Forum questions have been put up to continue to get feedback on Community-oriented renewable energy options.  Definitions and a Glossary of Terms have also been posted for review and feedback.  The costs and benefits of these smaller, community/neighborhood oriented options is being evaluated to help inform future County renewable energy policy.

Community Outreach for SPARC Phase 2

The County of San Bernardino is moving forward with its General Plan Renewable Energy and Conservation Element through its San Bernardino County Partnership for Renewable Energy and Conservation or SPARC planning project.  SPARC Phase 1 ended with a framework for the Element supported by comments at the Listening Session.

Significant progress has been made on Phase 2 following with the acceptance of a California Energy Commission grant and a consultant contract in October 2015.  SPARC Phase 2 primarily involves assessing the economic, environmental, and social benefits and costs of renewable energy generation within the County.  Stakeholder interviews and Focus Groups assisted the County in preparing for this Phase 2 Outreach.

Community Outreach Meetings for SPARC Phase 2 have been scheduled for five different dates/locations in key areas throughout the County.  I hope you will be able to attend one of these meetings.  Our intent for the meeting is to share initial progress and gain community input.

March 15:  Lucerne Valley Community Center.  33187 Highway 247 East, Lucerne Valley, CA 92356    10 am to 12 noon.

March 15:  Barstow Senior Center.  555 Melissa Ave, Barstow  92311       6 pm to 8 pm

March 16:  Joshua Tree Community Center.   6171 Sunburst Avenue, Joshua Tree  92252         6 pm to 8 pm

March 17:  San Bernardino County Government Center- Joshua Room.  385 N Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino  92415  10 am to 12 noon

March 17:  Hesperia - Percy Bakker Community Center.  9333 E Avenue, Hesperia   92345    6 pm to 8 pm

On October 20, 2015, the County Board of Supervisors entered into a contract with Aspen Environmental Group to provide a Renewable Energy Cost, Benefits and Cost Recovery Study to provide supportive technical information as a foundation for future policy recommendations.  The Study will also incorporate comprehensive research of renewable energy trends and value-added benefits to further provide a foundational framework for policy directives.

 The Aspen Team brings the following skills to SPARC Phase 2

A strong economic and scientific research team with experience in the field of renewable energy (RE) technology to provide a quantitative analysis of applicable RE costs and benefits.

A broad perspective and understanding of the opportunities and constraints created by State RE policy directives and their effects on federal, State, and local government control of private lands.

Experience with the complex issues and conflicting goals facing the County as it moves toward establishing RE policy directives, and the ability to be impartial in its assessments.

Understanding of the RE industry and the technical challenges faced by both utility companies and private investment in attempting to implement these directives.

Click Here for more information on Aspen Environmental Group.