Marin Clean Energy has a problem with its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Its annual GHG reductions don’t reconcile.
Case 1 -- The diminishing story of MCE’s Annual Greenhouse Gas Reduction ClaimsJan. 2011 Sept. 2011 April 2012 Nov. 2012 Dec. 2012
Larkspur WorkshopMill Valley City Council Presentation Novato Community Meeting (Q&A) MCE website MCE email 175,000 tons "Our reduction goal" 68,595 tons 15,420 tons 15,420 tons disavows claiming "annual" GHG reductions note (a) note (b,c,d,e) note (f) note (g)
GHG Annual reductions are shrinking when they should be growing
A year after MCE’s Mill Valley presentation in 2011 MCE had more customers and was presumably purchasing more “clean” energy to serve them. Why aren’t MCE’s annual GHG reductions increasing? Why are they going down and now no longer disclosed?
In November 2012, MCE had its greatest number of customers, and was purchasing a greater amount of “clean” energy to serve them. MCE was also increasing its renewable energy supply from 27% to 50% (Board approved Feb 2, 2011). Given this, its “annual GHG reduction” should be enormous. MCE’s public record indicates the opposite.
Case 2 – The Nursery vs. the Airport
Relative claims of solar farmsLocation System Size # of homes GHG reduction San Rafael Airport .972 megawatt 280 1,255 tons/yr. note (h) Green Point Nursery "a megawatt" 400 53,000 tons/yr. note (i)
Claims associated with the completed San Rafael airport solar project and the proposed Green Point Nursery solar farm are as follows:
1) The Nursery project claims it reduces GHGs by 53,000 tons per year, which is 3 times as many GHGs as MCE’s advertised total annual GHG reduction in Nov 2012 of 15,420 tons. How is this possible when Green Point would only be “a megawatt” compared to the many green megawatts supposedly in MCE’s portfolio?
2) The Green Point Nursery claims to eliminate 53,000 tons per year, which is more than 40 times as many GHGs as the comparably sized San Rafael Airport solar project. How?
3) The Green Point project claims to power 400 homes, which is 120 more than the comparably sized San Rafael airport solar farm claims. How is that possible?
Since MCE’s inception, its annual GHG reductions have represented the essence of its mission and have been used to justify its existence.
If these GHG issues trouble you, you may opt out at 1-888-632-3674.
(a) City of Larkspur “Workshop Concerning Marin Energy Authority” September 15, 2011, attachment “Introducing Marin Clean Energy,” dated 1/24/2011, p. 5 of 15. MEA also identifies 175,000 tons as its GHG reduction for 2011 in its PowerPoint presentation “Marin Clean Energy ‘Renewable by Choice’ A program of the Marin Energy Authority” dated March 2010, p. 15 of 20.
(b) Marin Energy Authority presentation of Marin Clean Energy to Mill Valley City Council, dated 9/06/2011, p. 2 of 7. Does not include MEA’s subsequent enrollment of the bulk of Marin residences (Phase 2b), who were enrolled in late summer/early fall 2012.
(c) MEA included the same claim of 68,595 tons annual GHG reduction in copies of its Marin Energy Authority – Marin Clean Energy PowerPoint distributed to council members of Ross (9/15/2011), Larkspur, (9/21/2011), and Novato (9/27/2011) when marketing to these municipalities to join the MEA Joint Powers Authority. Does not include MEA’s subsequent enrollment of the bulk of Marin residences (Phase 2b), who were enrolled in late summer/early fall 2012.
(d) City of Larkspur “Workshop Concerning Marin Energy Authority” September 15, 2011, attachment Marin Clean Energy Update – July 2011: “Marin Clean Energy is reducing the amount of CO2 generated in Marin by 68,595 tons of CO2 annually, more than any other reduction effort implemented to-date in Marin County.” Does not include MEA’s subsequent enrollment of the bulk of Marin residences (Phase 2b), who were enrolled in late summer/early fall 2012.
(e) Dawn Weisz (MEA) email to Town of Ross Town Manager Gary Broad, dated July 8, 2011, Subject: Clean Energy Amnesty. “...[MEA is] already achieving a GHG reduction of 68,000 tons each year, a greater reduction than all GHG-reducing programs, countywide, combined.”
(f) MEA website https://marincleanenergy.info/electric-services
image dated November 2, 2012 (see attachment 1). MEA revised this page mid-November 2012 so it is no longer possible to read MCE’s “annual GHG reduction.” Also see note (g).
(g) MEA email (Simon Loos), dated 12/07/2012, Subject: annual GHG reduction. “MEA does not claim an annual GHG reduction rate; the reduction varies by year according to best available data, our power portfolio, and the size of our customer base.”
1,138 metric tons claimed. Metric ton: ton conversion = (2,205 / 2,000). Therefore, 1,138 x (2,205/2,000) = 1,255 tons (U.S.)