350 Sacramento SMUD Watch Summary
By Rick Codina, SMUD Watch 350 Sacramento
This year has been disastrous for SMUD’s carbon emissions as the drought drastically reduces hydroelectric availability locally and in the Northwest. This was all compounded by the unexpected failure of one of the turbines at the large Cosumnes power plant, forcing reliance on less efficient gas plants and market purchases from undetermined sources.
Now SMUD has released its 2023 budget which promises better results from their Carbon Zero plan efforts. Here’s a brief summary.
In 2023 SMUD plans to spend $340 million, of which around 80% will be allocated to new renewable resources including the Solano 4 Wind Project (91 MW), Country Acres near Roseville (344 MW solar + 172 MW storage), and the first 4 MW phase of the long-duration iron-flow storage system from ESS.
SMUD also expects delivery of power next year from the new 50 MW Sloughhouse solar project and the 100 MW Geyser Geothermal project.
SMUD will expand on its current incentives and its direct install of heat pumps for low income projects. Some new initiatives include:
- Launching online shopping for heat pump water heaters and a hotline for emergency replacements accessible through our SMUD Energy Store.
- Implementing a low- or no-interest financing option to provide an equitable solution for customers transitioning from gas heating and water heating to heat pump systems.
- Providing direct access to a new vetted list of participating contractors with experience in energy efficiency and building electrification retrofits for commercial customers.
SMUD hopes to position itself as its customers’ first point of contact when purchasing an EV or charging equipment and providing high quality expert advice. Other 2023 EV initiatives include:
- Expanding the residential Charge@Home program that provides incentives for home charger and electrical circuit installation.
- Launching a new EV online estimation tool on total cost of ownership.
- Launching the eFuelSM turnkey commercial installation service that removes key barriers to vehicle electrification in exchange for a monthly fee on a SMUD bill.
- Expanding the Managed EV Charging pilot with General Motors, Ford, and BMW, which will optimize benefits for both the customer and SMUD’s grid, with a target of 1,000 customers.
Customer Storage and Solar Programs. SMUD plans to launch a Virtual Power Plant home battery incentive program – originally planned for this past summer. It promises to include upfront and participatory incentives and will utilize the new Critical Peak Pricing rate. Also, in the pipeline are:
- New Greenergy program offerings
- A promised SolarShare program for low, moderate income and multi-family customers.
- Expansion of community solar programs for schools and non-profit organizations.
The SMUD budget meetings will be 5:30 pm on Tuesday November 8th for the gas plants and power operations, and Wednesday November 9th for other budget items including the Carbon Zero Plan. Both meetings are at 5:30 pm before the Finance and Audit Committee. The full Board will consider the final budget later this month. Here’s the link:
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