At the December 16 meeting of the Encinitas City Council, they voted 3-1 to approve the Environmental Commission’s CCA Report and Recommendations (Blakespear, Kranz, Shaffer voted Yes, Gaspar voted No, Muir Absent). Mayor Gaspar stated that she stated that there was too much risk with CCAs and did not wish to spend the time and money to study the situation.
The primary action item in the Recommendations is to form a CCA Working Group (CCAWG) to explore the details of starting and running a CCA – the vote was not to actually start a CCA, but mainly to continue to explore the option. As part of her motion to approve the Report, Deputy Mayor Shaffer also volunteered to join the CCAWG. She will meet with City Manager Karen Brust on Monday December 21 to discuss the formation of the CCAWG.
The Council also voted to request city staff to evaluate financing options for installation of solar arrays on city facilities. Two options are being considered. Option 1 installs arrays on four facilities to provide approximately 100% of the electricity that the city uses each year, and Option 2 installs arrays at 18 facilities to provide 400-500% of the electricity that the city uses (the original proposal listed 17 sites, but discussion lead to the addition of the proposed Pacific View art center.
The City spends almost $600K each year on electricity from SDG&E. How much financing would such funds provide?
There is a certain amount of time pressure on the solar installation because 30% federal tax credits are currently available but require that the installation be operational by the end of 2016. These tax credits may be extended, but that won’t be known until next year. The tax credits don’t apply to municipalities, but the spokesman for the contractor 3ffficient mentioned that the city could use a private entity to install the system and claim the tax credit and then sell the system to the city at a reduced price.