SERC has begun work on a Renewable Energy-based Secure Community (RESCO) study for Humboldt County. (See SERC Energy News v.4, #2 for more information about RESCO.) The objective of the research is to assess the feasibility of developing local renewable energy resources to meet 75% to 100% of the local electricity demand as well as a significant fraction of heating and transportation energy needs. The project team, including SERC, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, attended a kick-off meeting at the California Energy Commission in early November.
With the project now up and running, we are hard at work gathering data and developing our analysis methodologies and models. We are also putting together a Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) to provide guidance for our research. We currently have secured commitments for PAC participation from individuals at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Humboldt County Community Development Services Department, the Northern California Power Agency, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
We are also collaborating with NREL to analyze RESCO economic impacts in Humboldt County. SERC graduate student research assistant Adam Schumaker working with his mentor, SERC faculty research associate Steve Hackett, applied for and won an NREL internship to develop the economic impact assessment tools we will need for our analysis. Adam will be spending several weeks at NREL over the Spring semester to complete the work. Congratulations to Adam and Steve on their efforts that will be a big boost to the success of the RESCO project.