Chollas Eco Village Project Advanced Energy Community in a Disadvantaged Community (DAC)

William Torre, Center for Energy Research, UC San Diego
Sukumar Srinivas, Center on Global Justice, UC San Diego
Ed Lopez, Groundwork San Diego
February 16, 2018, 11:00am - 12:30pm, SERF Room 232



Clean energy, including renewable energy resources, energy efficiency improvements, demand reduction, energy storage along with electric vehicles, has progressed rapidly within affluent communities and now middle class neighborhoods within California. However, communities with limited financial resources (DACs) have not enjoyed the benefits of these clean energy alternatives and the corresponding improved qualities of life. UC San Diego's Center for Energy Research (CER) and Center on Global Justice (CGJ) have been working with a local community-based non-profit to design and plan an advanced energy community with the goal of achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE) for all residences, schools, and businesses within the community. The community is located in the southeast portion of the City of San Diego (Encanto community). The project has been called the Chollas Eco Village project after the effort related to the Chollas creek region community improvement.

This project is funded by the CEC EPIC program to create a Master Plan for an Advanced Energy Community. 

Groundwork will present an overview of this project and the progress to date, including some of the key challenges with creating a near ZNE Advanced Energy Community (AEC). Groundwork will also present other aspects of planning the project, including siting of energy resources, financial studies, community outreach activities, and challenges presented by working within the existing energy regulatory framework.

This presentation will highlight the results of the design and planning effort for this project. This effort included analytical modeling of all of the energy consumption patterns using metered data collected by the local utility. CER used the HOMER microgrid modeling tool, developed initially by the US Department of Energy, to model the hourly energy consumption patterns over a 4-year time horizon, and to optimize the distributed energy resources (DER) within the community to achieve the goals of project.

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