In the News
EBCE Celebrates $2 Million in Federal Funding for Community Emergency Service Resilience in Fremont and Hayward
Funding from recently passed federal budget will support EBCE installing solar + battery systems on municipal buildings that provide key emergency services for communities.
December 23, 2022 – (Oakland, CA) – Earlier today, the United States Congress passed a federal spending bill that included vital funding for two of East Bay Community Energy’s (EBCE’s) efforts to serve communities during emergency grid outages with resilient, clean electricity. EBCE is grateful to U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA 17), and U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA 15) for securing this funding through the Community Project Funding process.
These newly funded projects, spanning the cities of Hayward and Fremont, will combine the use of solar panel electric generation with battery energy storage at 13 critical service sites which will provide fire, safety, and emergency operations to the community in the event of grid outages. These services are currently threatened by outages driven by factors ranging from earthquakes to wildfires exacerbated by climate change.
Traditionally, diesel generators provide emergency power during outages, but this approach creates air pollution and is limited by the stock of diesel on hand. These new projects’ renewable energies will provide a more clean and resilient solution for emergency backup power. Benefits will include increasing the community’s ability to tap into renewable and local energy sources, while creating local jobs. The projects will also provide solar electricity generation year-round, lowering the operating costs for these community facilities, such as fire stations.
“I am proud to have secured funding for both Fremont and Hayward municipal critical facility resilience projects to help provide clean, renewable power to communities in times of emergency,” Senator Padilla said. “As our state grapples with more frequent heat waves that bring record-breaking temperatures, these federal investments will help ensure local facilities are better prepared to serve Californians in times of need.”
“The funds for this project will help ensure that critical services are resilient to grid outages, which are becoming more common with earthquakes and wildfires exacerbated by climate change. This project’s renewable backup power will also increase the local governments’ ability to use renewable energy sources while creating a greater demand for green jobs,” said Representative Khanna. “I’m glad to have worked with Rep. Swalwell, Sen. Padilla, and East Bay Community Energy to secure this critical funding in the FY23 bill.”
“I am thrilled to see that funding for the Hayward Municipal Critical Facility Resilience Solar and Energy Storage was included in the 2023 Appropriations Bill,” said Representative Swalwell. “This project will not only help provide fire, safety, and emergency operations throughout the community in the event of grid outages, it will also create jobs. I look forward to seeing this newly funded project develop in the months and years ahead.”
“The East Bay is in the midst of a transition to a truly modern and resilient clean power grid,” said Nick Chaset, CEO of EBCE. “We thank U.S. Senator Padilla, Representative Swalwell, and Representative Khanna for their help fostering this transition by funding our important community projects.”
To learn more about how EBCE is creating more resilient communities, please visit EBCE Municipal Programs: Resilient Facilities.
East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program in the California Bay Area for Alameda County and fourteen incorporated cities, serving more than 1.7 million residential and commercial customers. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and expanded to Tracy in neighboring San Joaquin County in 2021 and will expand service to Stockton in 2024. As one of 24 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California, EBCE is part of the movement to expedite the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in its local communities and offering innovative energy programs. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit ebce.org.