Meeting Minutes for May 22, 2017

DOUGLAS COUNTY SMART ENERGY

MEETING NOTES

Smart Energy Community Campaign

Nicole reported that fourteen households have completed interest forms.   None has signed the utility release of billing information yet; three have agreed to be Energy Champions. Jim said households have many different reasons for making energy improvements. Some­ times it’s just one project. Jim has written an article for June’s Smart Energy column in the News-Review to recruit more households.

Nicole has developed a draft of Assessment Guidelines and Check­ list to gather consistent baseline information. She continues to meet with groups (Head Start, WIC, LIEAP) serving low-income families. She estimated contacts at about 200. UCAN has a backlog for its Weatherization Program, but Randy will try to find money to hire an auditor after the end of the fiscal year to do more homes.

Jim said Portland has adopted a policy requiring home energy scores on homes being sold, to begin in 1018.

Budget

Randy reported the RARE account has $30,578. He will start working on next year’s Ford grant early in June. The group re-affirmed the importance of providing a progress report to all funders. Nicole will write a draft for the steering committee.

Megan Smith of the RARE program will be in Roseburg to meet with Randy about next year’s grant application on June 8.

Electric Vehicle Related Reports:

  • VW Electrify America Grant – David was contacted for a phone interview on May 10.    The call went well, and a follow-up call including Pacific Power was set up.    David learned that VW will pay the entire cost of installation ($70,000) and will lease or buy the property for their chargers.   VW representatives will attend the Drive Oregon/Forward EV Conference· in Portland, June 20-21.  They may schedule a visit to Roseburg around those dates. Both David and Al Walker will be away, but Cap Caplan will represent grant applicant UBEA. Jim, Melanie and David Longthorne volunteered to be present for the visit.
  • City of Roseburg – is still on board with installing less powerful (Level 2) chargers in the downtown parking structure, probably for employees.   Jim Stelson suggested motels as a prime location for tourists with electric vehicles.
  • Grafitti Weekend Drive and Ride – David has reached agreement with Downtown Roseburg Association to have EV’s and chargers on display at Eagles Park. He is recruiting local dealerships to bring electric vehicles.

Sunshot Community Solar Grant

Melanie reported that large scale projects (lMW) are being encouraged.     A ‘coach’ to help with our local projects should be hired soon. Interested locals   will continue to hold monthly Community Solar Planning   meetings. The first meeting was held on May 4 and included UCAN Executive Director, Mike Fieldman, Randy Magnuson and Andrea Chaney from UCAN, Energy Trust’s Karen Chase, County Commissioner Gary Leif, Newcastle Solar’s David Longthorne, and D.C. Smart Energy members Melanie MacKinnon, Nicole Mandall, Stuart Liebowitz, and Polly Stirling. The discussion covered both the Federal Sunshot Grant and PUC rule making for Com­munity Solar  projects. Other areas explored were different com­munity solar models, and ideas for local projects, including lar­ger (lMW) projects. The next meeting will be held in mid-June and explore successful projects in other communities and states. David hopes to develop a replicable model.

PUC Proposed Rules for Community Solar – HB 1547

The PUC held its hearing on the Rules today.  Final Rules will be formalized by July 1. Projects are expected to get underway in 2018.

D.C. Smart Energy submitted the following comments and recommendations on sections of the Rules:

  • Generally, there was a lack of clarity.
  • The bill credit section should offer investors a guaranteed rate for 15 years to attract investors.
  • Clarify that 10% of all income directly benefit low-income participants.  Delete confusing references to 5%.
  • Remove unnecessary restriction on meters which would stifle participation and development of community solar.
  • Define the total number of members in the Community Solar Advisory Group.

OSEIA Solar Conference

Melanie and David Longthorne attended the conference.  The main concentrations were Utility Level (large scale) solar and energy storage. David said technological advancements are amazing and hopeful. He had the opportunity to meet with both Lee Rahr and Dan Orzech of Oregon Clean Energy Co-op. He discussed some of the legal aspects of community solar with Orzech.

Smart Energy Column

May – David Reeck on ebikes

June – Jim Stelson -Smart Energy Community Campaign July – TBA

August- Nicole, Report on Smart Energy Campaign September – Smart Energy Green and Solar Tour

Al suggested we get back to success stories from businesses and individuals. He said Nathan Baily recommended Milo at Oregon Tool and Supply.

Website – Phil said he’d posted David Reeck’s column. Karen Chase encouraged us to start documenting our Sunshot projects every step of the way.

Facebook – After a bunch of recent activities, Nicole is looking for more timely happenings to post.