Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication.
Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of MendoFever nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.
Provided in response to comments and questions regarding the recently published article, State Funding will Boost Number of Electric Charges in Mendocino County.
In 2021, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to power the county’s buildings with Sonoma Clean Power’s 100% renewable and locally generated 24/7 EverGreen service, joining several local cities and the neighboring County of Sonoma.
Their resolution also included installing public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at county facilities and converting their nearly 400 passenger fleet to plug-in and all-electric vehicles. County-owned vehicles will charge at night, and the same charging stations will be available to the public during the day.
Powering our chargers.
More clean power is needed to meet the projected increase in electricity demand as more EV chargers are installed. The good news is that it’s coming.
In Mendocino County, residents and businesses have access to cleaner electricity through Sonoma Clean Power. The public power provider’s default service, CleanStart, is 92% carbon-free and made up of a diverse mix of sources including renewables like wind, solar, and geothermal power, and large hydroelectric. Sonoma Clean Power also offers EverGreen, a 100% renewable service generated by local geothermal and solar power. Drivers in Sonoma Clean Power’s service area can significantly reduce their emissions by switching to an EV. And charging an electric vehicle remains far less expensive than paying for fossil petroleum gasoline¹.
Sonoma Clean Power is building more renewable resources, locally and statewide. In June 2022, Sonoma Clean Power and developer Luminia signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the construction of a 11.6 MW solar plus 32 MWh battery storage project in southern Sonoma County. Construction of the 75-acre project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2024.
Additionally, Mendocino County, Sonoma County, and Sonoma Clean Power are exploring local geothermal development to provide year-round reliability with renewable power sources. The goal is to build 500 MW of incremental local geothermal capacity.
Other EV charging projects.
The Sonoma Coast Incentive Project, funded by the California Energy Commission and Sonoma Clean Power, has dedicated $6.75M in incentives toward the purchase and installation of public EV chargers. Over 40 fast chargers and 150 Level 2 connectors will be added throughout Mendocino and Sonoma counties by the summer of 2023.
Recently this year, Sonoma Clean Power committed an additional $800,000 to support the installation of high-speed DC fast chargers along rural highway corridors and near low-income multi-family housing within the unincorporated areas of Mendocino County, the City of Fort Bragg, the City of Point Arena, and the City of Willits². For passenger vehicles, DC fast chargers can provide up to an 80% charge in 15 – 45 minutes.
EV battery recycling is improving.
Nationally, the United States Environmental Protection Agency found that the greenhouse gas emissions of an electric vehicle over its lifetime are typically lower than those of an average gasoline-powered vehicle, even when accounting for manufacturing. With SCP’s clean electricity, the numbers are far better here in Mendocino County. Recycling or repurposing EV batteries can reduce the need for new materials, further lowering the emissions associated with making an EV. While challenges still exist for recovering all of the valuable metals, there is ongoing research to improve the effectiveness and speed of EV battery recycling³.
With more renewable energy coming online, the installation of more public chargers, and a growing market for affordable EV models and EV battery recycling, it’s becoming easier to consider making the switch. And as California moves toward phasing out new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, it’s the right time to increase the accessibility and convenience of driving an electric vehicle in Mendocino County.
For more information on EV battery development and recycling, visit:
U.S. Department of Energy’s ReCell Center and National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, 2021-2030 (pdf).
About Sonoma Clean Power
Sonoma Clean Power is the not-for-profit public power provider serving most of Sonoma and Mendocino counties. SCP started service as a Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) in 2014 to provide residents and businesses clean energy options and relevant incentives for improving energy efficiency. To learn more, visit sonomacleanpower.org or call 1 (855) 202-2139.