by Daniel Paul Nelson, Romero Institute
On May 27th, the Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) initiative presented results from its recently completed technical study to elected officials and members of the public at the Monterey County Board of Chambers. MBCP initiative comprises two bodies investigating and promoting the possibility of Community Choice Energy (CCE) in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties: the Project Development Advisory Committee and the Project Team.
The technical study was the first of three educational “study sessions” that will take place in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties before the end of June. The goal of reaching out to each of the 21 potential member jurisdictions (18 cities and 3 counties) is to enable them to evaluate the viability of a CCE program for the tri-county area.
When MBCP goes online it will be the largest CCE operational in California in terms of geographical reach.
In March, a technical study was issued to the MBCP Project Development and Advisory Committee (PDAC) by Pacific Energy Advisors. It elucidated three distinct CCE scenarios over a ten-year period for the Monterey Bay region.
The first round of voting by “early adopter” entities will occur between August and October 31st. The counties and municipalities that join during this first phase will form the MBCP Joint Powers Authority (JPA). The initial governing structure — including guiding principles, advisory committees, and formal structure of the JPA board — is currently a point of discussion among the potential member agencies seeking to participate in the CCE. Each member agency or jurisdiction can join voluntarily before or after the JPA is operational, and although there is no requirement to sign on prior to formation, greater economies of scale and resource pooling become available sooner with more initial member agencies.