RePower Humboldt is an effort to build a Renewable Energy Secure Community, or a RESCO. A RESCO is a concept defined by the California Energy Commission (CEC): it refers to a community that has developed its local renewable energy resources, including energy efficiency and conservation, in an effort to meet its local energy needs and to secure its sustainable energy future at minimal costs to energy consumers. Developing local renewable energy resources as the primary means of meeting local energy needs will provide energy, environmental and economic security to our community, potentially including:
- Less reliance on energy sources from outside the area and from foreign sources.
- More predictable, less volatile energy prices.
- Less reliance on fossil fuels and thus less susceptibility to the impacts of “peak oil.”
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
- Creation of local jobs and local economic stimulus.
- More money re-circulating in the local economy.
Because of these benefits, communities throughout the country are looking for ways to develop local energy resources and achieve a clean energy future.
The RePower Humboldt Strategic Plan is a result of more than two years of research, analysis and community involvement. The plan lays out an array of opportunities and recommends a set of actions that would create jobs, stimulate the local economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase local energy security.
Key recommendations in the RePower Humboldt Strategic Plan include:
Community Scale Renewable Energy
The project is meant to demonstrate and validate key aspects of the RePower Humboldt Strategic Plan, including the availability of biomass as a key resource, and adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and heat pumps as critical to cost-effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The two main elements of the project include the design and installation of a "first-of-its-kind woody biomass gasifier and fuel cell power system" led by SERC and the Blue Lake Rancheria, and a community-based energy upgrade program- the Mad River Valley Community Pilot Project- led by RCEA.
Please see the full news announcement from SERC here, as well as news and updates on the biomass project.