Climate Action and Resiliency

Make Sonoma County carbon neutral by 2030.

Goal 3, Objective 3

Invest in County-owned facilities, establishing carbon eliminating microgrid technology and improving energy grid resilience to reduce the impact of power loss during power shutdowns and natural disasters (floods, fires, earthquakes), prioritizing critical infrastructures such as command and communications facilities.
On Track 22%

Updated: January 2023

Summary of Objective Implementation Status

As County Government Center is pending further direction from the Board,  projects in existing buildings including criteria development for a solar panel with battery microgrid  are progressing to address deferred maintenance issues or operational needs.  The Board has approved the County’s participation in PG&E’s Sustainable Solutions Turnkey (SST) program. In this program the County will obtain “investment grade” audits  (IGA) of the energy and water use in our existing buildings and will create an Energy Master Plan (EMP).   To assess the required size the microgrid,  PG&E’s consultant, Willdan Energy is evaluating  energy demands of various systems on the county properties and opportunities for energy reduction projects including changing light fixtures, HVAC system changes, water heaters, insulation and sealants .  The Microgrid scope will be a potential option for Board consideration. The IGA’s will identify existing conditions and historical utility use with recommended upgrades for Board consideration.

Concurrently, the solar panels at the Los Guilicos campus are under study to consolidate and refurbish County owned panels with panels under power purchase agreement o County property.  This investment grade audit is investigating the feasibility of adding a battery arrays to serve not only to shave peak hour energy usage but to provide a resilient and sustainable power source to serve the campus, which includes the Juvenile Justice Center, Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, Crestwood Mental Health Facility and Los Guilicos Village

A third microgrid is being planned for the Santa  Rosa Veteran’s Building.  This building was extensively used as a shelter during emergency declarations and as cooling center during Public Safety Power Shutoffs.  The importance of this asset was made apparent during the five wildfires and multiple PSPS events that occurred in recent years.  Although the building was recently provided with an emergency generator, emissions from the diesel powered generator is against the County’s goals towards carbon reduction but will remain as a reliable backup should an emergency be protracted and offer the opportunity for the microgrid to recharge.

Key Milestone Update

Climate Resilience Fund funding received February 2022

Investment Grade Audits are expected in Spring 2023

Coordination and Partnership Update

The Santa Rosa Veteran’s Hall acts as both a community hub and a designated mass care and shelter site. It is a resource center that is used during power shutdown events and has the potential to be utilized a cooling center.

Community, Equity, and Climate Update

Public Engagement with the Community for the County Government Center will be coordinated with environmental studies required under CEQA projected to start summer 2023 with Board approval of a site and cost parameters.

 Investment Grade Audits for the microgrid projects are projected to be complete in spring 2023 with Board approval requested summer 2023.

Funding Narrative

$870,000 from the Climate Resilience Fund was approved by the Board on 2/1/22 for upgrading the Santa Rosa Veteran’s Building by adding solar and battery storage.

Financing opportunities for other projects will be identified by PG&E with the Investment Grade Audit.