News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Council Approves New CLEAN Program Promoting Local Renewable Power
Contact : Jon Abendschein, Senior Resource Planner, Utilities    650-329-2309
Debra Katz, Communications Manager, Utilities    650-329-2474
Palo Alto, CA -- Tonight the Palo Alto City Council approved implementation of a new initiative to encourage electricity generation right here in our city---Palo Alto CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now). The City's Electric Utility is now authorized to purchase renewable energy from generation systems located here in Palo Alto. The Utility will begin accepting applications for these power contracts on April 2, 2012.

The purpose of CLEAN programs is to develop small local renewable energy systems. In its first year, the City’s goal is to contract for up to 4 megawatts (MW) of solar energy delivered by systems located on local large commercial rooftops in Palo Alto.

"We are aiming for this program to generate over 6,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy every year, enough to power 1,000 homes," noted Valerie Fong, Director of Utilities.

"The Palo Alto CLEAN program is another milestone in Palo Alto’s long history of promoting renewable energy use in economically smart ways," added James Keene, Palo Alto City Manager.

The City plans to expand the program to include smaller sites and a wider range of energy-generating technologies in the future. Already a leader in promoting solar energy systems for residents and business under its successful PV Partners program, the City looks forward to having its CLEAN program help maintain its leadership role in promoting sustainable resources.

"Palo Alto CLEAN is an important step towards greater energy self-reliance since these renewable resources will be located within the City itself. We will avoid costly transmission charges and reduce wasted energy losses from remote transmission. Most of all, this program helps show that cities can have clean energy, low rates and a strong economy, all at the same time," said Pat Burt, Palo Alto City Council Member.

Palo Alto CLEAN is a program known in the utilities industry as a "CLEAN" or a "Feed-in Tariff" program, where the utility pays a rate or tariff for power that "feeds in" to the utility grid.

The City is proud of the high percentage of renewable resources in its energy supply mix. Currently City renewables represent over 20% of total energy consumption* and the City is on track to exceed its goal of 33% renewables by 2015. Further, the City expects to be using at least 80% carbon-free electricity supplies by 2020 and discussions are underway to increase that percentage.

For more details on Palo Alto CLEAN, visit the City Utilities website at or call program administrator Jon Abendschein at (650) 329-2309.

*for FY-2011PAC-1