Our history and impact

The Clean Coalition started as the FIT Coalition in early 2009. We relaunched as the Clean Coalition in 2011.

Since our founding, we have worked to design, promote, and implement clean energy programs and policies. The Clean Coalition works with leaders from communities, utilities and other load-serving entities, businesses, and governments to advance clean local energy. We are active on the local, state, and national levels.

Our impact

The Clean Coalition has had significant impact shaping policies and programs that enable the deployment of local renewable energy to address climate change and secure economic, environmental, and resilience benefits for communities. Through cutting-edge programs, policies, and initiatives, we have helped bring nearly 3 gigawatts of clean local energy online — enough to provide peak power to nearly 3 million American homes.

Through our work, we have:

  • Designed and implemented utility programs across the United States, from California to Indiana to Vermont, bringing hundreds of megawatts (MW) of local renewable energy online.
  • Established precedent-setting interconnection policy in California, which was adopted by federal energy regulators as a new national standard, making it quicker and cheaper to connect clean local energy projects to the grid.
  • Led the creation of California’s innovative Distribution Resources Planning proceeding, which requires the state’s largest utilities to proactively plan for — and deploy — distributed energy resources (DER), such as local renewables and energy storage.
  • Issued studies that influenced major decisions under California regulatory bodies to stall and stop construction in Southern California of gas plants in favor of solar+storage solutions.
  • Shaped New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding and received one of the first five NY Prize Community Microgrid Competition grants for our Long Island Community Microgrid Project.

Timeline of accomplishments

2017

Solar+storage obviates gas peaker plants in Southern California
Clean Coalition studies show that solar+storage can cost-effectively replace the proposed Puente Power Project natural gas plant in Oxnard and the Ellwood Peaker Plant near Santa Barbara, both in the Moorpark Subarea, a grid-constrained area in Southern California. These studies are instrumental in the denial of the Puente project by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the rejection of the Ellwood project by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). As a result, many analysts question whether another gas plant will ever be built in California.

Proliferating clean energy access for underserved communities
The CEC selects the Clean Coalition to receive a grant for our Valencia Gardens Energy Storage project. In collaboration with partners like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), and the City of San Francisco, the Clean Coalition leads this project to add grid-scale energy storage to the roughly 800 kilowatts (kW) of rooftop solar that is already interconnected to the distribution feeder around the Valencia Gardens Apartments, a large low-income and senior housing apartment complex near downtown San Francisco.

Expanding EV charging in Palo Alto
The Clean Coalition’s work to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in Palo Alto moves forward with the unveiling of new solar carport installations atop four City-owned parking structures. The solar carports and the EV charging infrastructure are possible only because of the Palo Alto Feed-in Tariff (FIT), which the Clean Coalition helped establish nearly five years ago.

Peninsula Advanced Energy Community (PAEC) Initiative continues to flourish
PAEC — a collaboration with the CEC — continues to streamline policies and showcase projects that facilitate clean local energy and other advanced energy solutions like energy efficiency, energy storage, and EV charging infrastructure. PAEC is a model for communities across the country that want to reap the trifecta of economic, environmental, and resilience benefits delivered by Community Microgrids, Solar Emergency Microgrids, and more.

The Transmission Access Charges (TAC) Campaign progresses forward
The Clean Coalition makes progress on our campaign to eliminate the massive market distortion of 3 cents/kilowatt-hour (kWh) that TAC steal from local renewables in investor-owned utility service territories, including from Community Choice Aggregators. The 2017 legislative cycle features the Clean Coalition-sponsored Senate Bill 692 to force CAISO to fix the TAC distortion by implementing a consistent statewide “user-pays” approach. In response, CAISO starts the Review TAC Structure Stakeholder Initiative, which is based on the Clean Coalition’s proposed TAC fix. By the end of 2017, nearly 100 supporting organizations sign on to ensure our proposal is adopted.

People’s Action for Clean Energy award
The Clean Coalition’s work is recognized by the People’s Action for Clean Energy, with their 2017 Judi Friedman Clean Energy Leadership Award for bold and creative leadership in the field of clean energy.

Deploying more clean local energy in Alameda County
The Clean Coalition partners with East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), part of California’s rapidly expanding Community Choice Energy market, to develop a program for deploying more clean local energy in Alameda County. Our Solar Siting Survey shows enormous opportunity for solar deployment in the region, and the innovative FIT with Market Responsive Pricing we designed for EBCE includes a Dispatchability Adder to incentivize energy storage.

Providing a game changing solution for solar+storage in Hawaii
The Clean Coalition helps set the stage for a showcase solar+storage solution that spans multiple sites on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The solution is a game changer for the electricity industry because it illuminates the cost-effectiveness of local solar energy that is delivered when desired, rather than only while the sun is shining. The Clean Coalition was engaged to conduct analysis that maximized economic value and minimized fossil fuel usage for a solar+storage solution that will provide energy at 11 cents/kWh, which is 10% less than the 12.5 cents/kWh average cost of electricity in the United States. The same type of solar+storage solution can be configured to provide indefinite renewables-driven backup power to critical community facilities. This Kauai example, which spans multiple sites, combines 28 MW of solar with 20 MW/100 MW-hours of batteries and will provide 11% of Kauai’s electricity once online in 2018.

2016

Peninsula Advanced Energy Community launches, providing framework for the future of clean energy
The Clean Coalition launches the Peninsula Advanced Energy Community, which was one of 13 projects selected for funding by the CEC. The PAEC will address policy, permitting, and financing barriers impeding the development of Advanced Energy Communities. Collaborators include PG&E, SamTrans, Facebook, Stanford University, and Kaiser Permanente.

Solarizing City-owned parking structures and enhancing EV deployment in Palo Alto
Working with the Clean Coalition, the City of Palo Alto creates a new model for deploying local renewables on municipal properties. Sustained efforts by the Clean Coalition and the City of Palo Alto brought 1.3 MW of local solar atop four City-owned parking structures, along with a significant amount of EV charging infrastructure.

Improving interconnection in California
The CPUC approves the Clean Coalition’s proposal to require all of California’s investor-owned utilities to publish a Unit Cost Guide, which is designed to improve pricing transparency, predictability, and consistency for the interconnection of distributed generation projects.

Expanding access to solar for Californians
The CPUC issues a decision on the Green Tariff Shared Renewables program, which included the Clean Coalition’s recommendation to include sub-500 kW renewable energy projects. This important modification will enhance the number of siting opportunities for clean local energy in the built environment.

Better valuing NEM bill credits for solar + storage systems
The Clean Coalition successfully advocated for a NEM bill credit valuation methodology for solar systems paired with energy storage. This is a solution that will properly value energy export credits based on the size of the storage device, overall system, and consumption patterns.

Bringing 735 MW of solar online in Georgia
Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative, designed using our Local CLEAN Program Guide, brings over 735 MW of clean energy online. The Advanced Solar Initiative has enabled Georgia Power to cost-effectively expand its renewable portfolio, including 190 MW of local solar, without raising customer rates.

Refining California’s new regulatory incentive pilot
The Clean Coalition plays a significant role in refining California’s new regulatory mechanism incentive pilot. The pilot requires each utility to identify at least one grid-scale project — and authorize up to three additional projects — where the deployment of distributed energy resources would displace or defer the need for significant costs associated with new energy transmission infrastructure, such as power plants and power lines.

2015

Bringing resilience to New York’s grid with the Long Island Community Microgrid Project
The Clean Coalition’s Long Island Community Microgrid Project launches in New York, serving as a model for the state and country. The project was one of the first to be awarded funding by Governor Cuomo in the NY Prize Community Microgrid Competition.

Identifying hundreds of megawatts in solar potential for cities and utilities
The Clean Coalition conducts Solar Siting Surveys to study and demonstrate how DER, including local solar photovoltaics, may support local reliability needs.

Planning the grid for more local renewables
The Clean Coalition guides the CPUC’s implementation of distribution resources planning requirements.

Fixing a hidden fee on renewables  
The Clean Coalition launches a campaign to remedy the unfair TAC being imposed on local renewable energy in California.

Improving national energy policy
As the primary intervener in a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reform interconnection reporting methods, the Clean Coalition sets a standard for publishing data by allowing easier access to information when applying to add clean energy to the grid.

2014

Leading Palo Alto towards a low carbon future
The Downtown Palo Alto Net Zero Energy Initiative, initiated by the Clean Coalition, aims to achieve net zero energy for at least 100 existing commercial buildings in downtown Palo Alto by yearend 2017. Additionally, the Clean Coalition leads the process to bring solar projects to five City-owned parking structures.

Establishing renewable energy programs
The Clean Coalition works with utilities to establish FIT programs, such as the Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s FIT 2.0 and Sonoma Clean Power’s ProFIT program. We also help in the successful passage of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Feed-In Tariff Act.

Proactive planning for solar, storage, and other clean energy technologies under AB 327
The Clean Coalition offers recommendations on implementing the Distribution Resources Planning requirement of California’s Assembly Bill 327 (AB 327), which includes a grid planning methodology shaped by the Clean Coalition for determining the optimal locations of distributed energy resources.

Utilizing advanced inverters in California
Advanced inverters are an effective tool for regulating voltage and enabling greater amounts of local renewable energy. The CPUC’s Rule 21 adopts numerous advanced inverter standards recommended by the Clean Coalition and makes California the first state in the country to require the use of advanced inverters with distributed generation.

2013

California Assembly Bill 327 officially signed into law
California Governor Jerry Brown signs into law AB 327, which mandates that the state’s largest investor-owned utilities proactively plan for a distributed power system. The new law brings together years of Clean Coalition work by including our language and recommendations and marks a significant step forward in smarter grid planning by ensuring that California ratepayers are protected from unnecessary investments in the outdated centralized power system.

Transforming a San Francisco neighborhood
In collaboration with PG&E, the Clean Coalition initiates the Hunters Point Community Microgrid Project. Once complete, this project will result in $200 million in regional economic stimulation and preserve 375 acres of land over 20 years, while eliminating 78 millions of pounds of toxic greenhouse gas emissions and saving 15 million gallons of water annually.

2012

Expanding biopower in California
Senate Bill 1122, designed by the Clean Coalition, is passed, which requires the state’s largest investor-owned utilities to create an additional 250 MW of capacity for biopower projects.

Vermont expands statewide CLEAN Program
Vermont Governor Shumlin signs into law the 2012 Energy Bill, which contains groundbreaking acknowledgement of the environmental and economic benefits of clean local energy and more than doubles the amount to be brought online through the state’s CLEAN Program. The Clean Coalition provides leading policy support to Vermont-based clean energy organizations engaged in the legislative process.

Clean Coalition’s efforts on California’s Integrated Energy Policy Report prove fruitful
The Clean Coalition is highly involved in the CEC’s 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report, which includes research and analysis of energy demand and generation trends relevant to California’s 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard and Governor Brown’s 12,000 MW goal for distributed generation. The Clean Coalition’s involvement results in a number of victories for proponents of distributed generation.

Fixing a clean energy program in California
Working with developers, Southern California Edison, the California Governor’s office, and the CPUC, the Clean Coalition removes barriers within the California Renewable Energy Small Tariff — demonstrating that with proper stakeholder collaboration, the clean local energy market can be unleashed to create powerful and immediate economic benefits for California communities.

2011

Stopping counterproductive policy
The Clean Coalition successfully prevents California utilities from weakening the Renewable Auction Mechanism, a program designed to bring clean energy online. The utilities sought to continue use of an inadequate data map, unfair deliverability requirements, and less frequent auctions.

Improving transparency into Pacific Gas & Electric’s grid
As a result of the Clean Coalition’s persistent requests, PG&E creates an online map and information resource to improve the process of connecting renewable energy to the grid. This lays the foundation for more advanced distribution grid mapping required in California’s Distribution Resources Planning proceeding.