SEEDZ Commercial Acceleration for Solar Energy in Silicon Valley (CASE-SV) Program
Why This Matters
Silicon Valley has an incredible amount of rooftop and parking lot space available for solar PV installations. The SEEDZ area alone has more than 31 million square feet of Commercial & Industrial (C&I) building space, 19 million square feet of roof space, and 25-35 million square feet (~1100 acres) of parking lots. Assuming that 30-40% of that area is suitable for solar panels, this area represents roughly 100 MW of energy generating potential. At the current peak load of 175-200 MW, solar energy alone could satisfy a significant percentage of C&I energy requirements. As more businesses realize the long-term benefits of transitioning to renewable energy, CASE-SV helps to address the growing energy demands of commercial, industrial and institutional energy customers while encouraging more effective resource utilization.
Facilitating Aggregated Purchasing
CASE-SV brings together the business community, municipal governments, and supportive organizations in the area to create a unique opportunity to aggregate the purchase of solar energy, making deployment easier, faster, and less expensive in the region.
In order to understand and align the interests of C&I customers and those of municipal agencies, SEEDZ, in partnership with the American Solar Transformation Initiative led by Optony, is currently putting together a working group made up of ‘anchor’ C&I companies and leaders in the public sector. The project has already generated significant interest from both C&I representatives and from several Silicon Valley cities.
CASE-SV is also investigating the ideal implementation of onsite, net-metered renewable energy for C&I customers in addition to a menu of options that go beyond onsite installations. Through specific site analysis, the program will determine the implications of choosing between different types of renewable energy and integration with EV charging infrastructure. The next steps will be to identify high-potential sites for solar power, and to develop a framework for qualifying and matching vendors with participating energy consumers. Ultimately, the project will outline a procurement process for interested C&I customers, and will also provide workshops and education on design options, financing and contracting, in order to facilitate implementation of renewable energy.
Fact Sheets: Commercial Participants (pdf) or Local Government Participants (pdf)
SEEDZ Projects - Distributed Generation
Increasing Access to Renewable Energy
Installation of distributed generation systems continues to expand in Silicon Valley. Cumulative installed solar capacity in the greater Silicon Valley area reached 189 megawatts (MW) in 2013, a 30 MW increase over 2012. Within the SEEDZ area, approximately 13 megawatts of energy is being produced from 18 distributed generation systems, primarily solar PV, fuel cells, landfill- and bio-gas-fed systems. This represents about 6% of the area’s peak power demand of approximately 200 megawatts.
Opportunities exist to greatly expand use and access to renewables in the SEEDZ area. For example, the area has 1,100 acres of commercial and industrial rooftop and parking lot space, capable of generating 100+ megawatts of solar power. Furthermore, opportunities exist to establish multi-megawatt, community-based renewable energy systems utilizing municipal property for solar and/or biogas energy production. These sites could potentially serve renewable energy subscribers across the community, that cannot otherwise deploy systems at their home or business. Such large-scale deployments serve to significantly reduce GHG emissions, and create a more sustainable and resilient energy network for the future.