Launched with $1.5M in grant funding from the California Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program, the Energize Fresno team has been working to design a roadmap for Fresno to become an Advanced Energy Community.

Over the past year and a half, we have identified projects that deliver significant resource savings and attract more investment into the community, and developed a tool that streamlines the project-funding matching process to accelerate action and raise the visibility of energy, water, and transportation investment opportunities in the city. Once the planning phase of this grant is complete, we hope to fully implement the roadmap design to identify projects, funding, and a pathway for the city towards becoming an Advanced Energy Community, and share the roadmap design with communities across the state.

Click here for an overview of Energize Fresno.

The EPIC Challenge: Accelerating the Deployment of Advanced Energy Communities

In 2016, the California Energy Commission awarded 13 projects, including Energize Fresno, through the EPIC Challenge: Accelerating the Deployment of Advanced Energy Communities solicitation. The purpose of this solicitation was to fund a competition that would challenge project teams comprised of building developers, local governments, technology developers, researchers, utilities, and other project partners to spend 18 months developing innovative and replicable plans for accelerating the deployment of Advanced Energy Communities (AECs).

What is an Advanced Energy Community?

Communities are diverse and the path to becoming an Advanced Energy Community is complex – no one set of technologies or plan activities can move a community forward holistically. By putting forward a diverse portfolio of projects and programs that contribute to grid reliability and resiliency, increase energy efficiency and renewable energy, and deploy smart grid and zero net energy technologies, Energize Fresno wants to apply the following AEC principles in a real-world setting, where we can provide an integrated set of tools and processes for Fresno, and any other community, to produce more projects with higher value and work towards becoming an Advanced Energy Community.

The California Energy Commission defines an Advanced Energy Community with the following principles:

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    Minimize new infrastructure

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    Zero Net Energy Community status

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    Support grid reliability and resiliency

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    Easier integration and alignment with CPUC procurement

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    Replicable and scalable

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    Financially attractive

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    Affordable access to renewable energy and energy efficiency

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    Incorporate smart-grid technologies

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    Align with other state energy and environmental policies

The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program

The EPIC Program was created by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in December 2011 to support investments in clean energy technologies that provide benefits to the electricity ratepayers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison Company (SCE). The EPIC program funds clean energy research, demonstration and deployment projects that support California’s energy policy goals and promote greater electricity reliability, lower costs, and increased safety.