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Reflecting

Reflecting

Reflecting on Black History Month and Women’s History Month I would like to take time to acknowledge the leaders of our community that have been working to combat climate change. 

Growing up as a part of an underserved community in San Diego, California I have witnessed first-hand the effects of climate change. In particular, the dense heat and fires caused my family to evacuate our home. The most memorable time was in 2017, my sophomore year of high school when the Lilac Fire lasted 9 days. Over 200 homes were burned down. This was when I began to see how climate change was affecting me and my community.  As I have gotten older I have learned that there are many people that have been working diligently to combat this global problem like Greta Thunberg, Jaqui Patterson, and Jamie Margolin. As I work to obtain my Computer Science degree from Sac State, I would like to join the climate fight by developing stronger and more predictive software to identify trends in data to better predict our future, allowing us to expand renewable energy more effectively. Many leaders in the Sacramento region have been working hard to combat climate change like One person, in particular, is Jackie Cole.

Jackie Cole, is a social Environmental Justice Consultant who works with local communities to advance health equity through land-use policies, leadership development, and advocacy. Jackie is principal of Veritable Good Consulting, a firm dedicated to seeing the implementation of Environmental Justice in the Sacramento City and County General Plans. She supports her work through community engagement and partnerships in identified Environmental Justice communities; participating on the board of directors for the Sacramento Community Land Trust and the City of Sacramento’s Active Transportation Commission; and working with statewide partners such as the California Environmental Justice Alliance and ClmatePlan who are committed to building inclusive, equitable, sustainable communities in California.  Jackie Cole directly supports Black and Brown communities, by advocating for better energy efficiency, highlighting environmental justice issues, and promoting equitable access to clean energy 

 It is because of leaders like Jackie that there has been an increasing awareness and of action being taken in the black community. But due to the recent harshness of Climate change many people of color have been at the forefront of the fight against climate change. I plan one day to join these leaders and take action in fighting climate change.

Thomas Hall

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Saraia Jackson is a second-year computer science major at CSU Sacramento. Her long-term goal is to become a cybersecurity analyst. She wants to show young African American women that they can do whatever they put their minds to no matter where they come from. She also really wants to devote her life to helping children and making a difference. 

CleanStart Sponsors

Weintraub | Tobin, EY, Moss Adams

BlueTech Valley, PowerSoft.biz

College of Engineering & Computer Science at Sacramento State

Regional Shared Mobility A Growing Success

Regional Shared Mobility A Growing Success

Our March 25 MeetUp focused on three pioneer programs in shared/smart mobility that now are bearing fruit in our areas.  There were some surprising insights provided by our three presenters that kicked off a lively discussion.

Did you know that the Twin Rivers Unified School District in North Sacramento is operating the largest fleet of all-electric school buses in the nation?  Tim Shannon told us how all that happened and how it is going.  There are 40 electric school buses in the fleet so far with more on order.  The goal is to be at least 90% electric in the next few years.  Because of widespread incentives and now the documented huge savings in operating costs from electric school buses plus the reduction in exposure of students to emissions, Tim thinks this is an idea that will spread quickly across the state and the nation.  It has presented some tough challenges and interesting opportunities for Twin Rivers.  The usual challenge for recharging a large bus fleet in one location is bringing in enough power to the site to top-up the batteries between the morning and afternoon runs.  Twin Rivers was lucky because they had a high-capacity transmission line in their backyard and high-voltage transformer.  Among the unexpected opportunities was the chance to use the buses sitting in the yard as a storage and balancing system for the utility.  Since the buses are not in use at the exact times the utility wants to store and withdraw power, this turns out to be a good fit.  Power is cheap in the late morning and early afternoon when all the solar installations on the grid are at their greatest output, just when the power is needed for recharging.  Withdrawals from storage are most needed late in the day and into the night just when the buses are back in the lot, with the recharging then done overnight.  With trends toward increasing the range of these buses (from 40 miles to 150 miiles), there is also emerging opportunities to think of this fleet as mobile power sources in emergency situations with enough capacity to provide hours of steady power.  

Next, Steffani Charkiewicz from the Sacramento Metro Air Quality Management District talked about their Community Car Share program, now in its third phase.  This is a pilot program demonstrating the viability of putting shared-use zero-emission passenger vehicles in underserved communities, with the hope that vendors will pick up the idea and spread it throughout the region.  The program has been managed so far by ZipCar, already established and well-known in our area.  Steffani said one of the surprising lessons from this pilot was the degree of reluctance from residents to using the cars.  People were wary of a relatively unknown government agency doing this.  Through enlisting known community organizations and non-profits, enough trusted “ambassadors” overcame the initial skepticism.  Now the pilot has accumulated over 500,000 miles of use of the vehicles, and 40,000+ reservations being made.  These programs and more are available through the Transit Incentive Card, worth checking out.

James Corless, Executive Director of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), and staff person Adrienne Moretz discussed the smart mobility experiments being done through the Civic Lab initiative, now in its fourth year.  Nine vendors were competitively selected to roll-out programs across the 6-county SACOG region.  The projects included the popular Jump Bikes and e-scooters, on-demand transit mini-buses, last-mile options to cover the trips to and from transit hubs, and autonomous buses on the Sac State campus.  These have become welcome additions to the mobility options available, and the Lab is looking to its next wave of funded projects.  

All of these projects have made Sacramento one of the leaders in smart and shared mobility in the country.  With these pilots come some interesting business opportunities for all you innovators.  Better apps to use the vehicles.  More creative use of vehicles.  Added features at the emerging mobility hubs, like solar stands.  Solar canopies in parking lots, especially for the school buses.  Get engaged!

You can view a recording of the event below to get more of the details.  The turnout for the event was very good, so we are sure to return to this topic at a future MeetUp.

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get notified of all our future events and check out our website where there is a growing archive of all our videos, blogs, and innovation resources.

Thanks especially to all of you who pitch-in what you can when you register for these events.  It’s what keeps us going!

Thomas Hall

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStart's Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.

CleanStart Sponsors

Weintraub | TobinBlueTech Valley, Revrnt, 

Moss AdamsPowerSoft.biz, Greenberg Traurig, Momentum,

College of Engineering & Computer Science at Sacramento State

New Technology Could Boost Efficiency of Power-to-Hydrogen to 95+%

New Technology Could Boost Efficiency of Power-to-Hydrogen to 95+%

Israeli company H2Pro has raised $22 million from a group of marquee investors to scale-up its radical new way to extract hydrogen from water.  It claims to have a way to produce hydrogen at high pressure (50 bar) with 95+% efficiency (compared to 70% efficient current methods) and lower capital cost, which could mean a product price under $2/kg and maybe as low as $1.  (A kilogram of hydrogen is close to the energy in a gallon of gasoline or 114,000 Btu.  At $1/kg, hydrogen is equivalent to $8.80 per million Btu.  Natural gas at the wholesale level is going for $2.66/million Btu, for comparison).  

Currently, hydrogen at dispensers at refill stations is priced well over $16 per kilogram.  “Green” hydrogen from electrolysis of water is going for a wholesale price of $2.26/kg, and “grey” hydrogen produced from natural gas is priced at $0.79/kg.  The new H2Pro technology does not address the $14/kg added by the time the hydrogen gets to the dispenser.  Those costs are created by the expense of storing hydrogen and transporting it by pressurized tanker trucks.  The H2Pro process may not then be revolutionary, but its greatest feature may be the efficiency gain, making 35% more hydrogen available from the same renewable-based kWhs.  It opens up some more possibilities for using hydrogen.

There is considerable interest in blending “green” hydrogen into the existing natural gas pipeline system, maybe along with methane produced from renewable sources, to create a lower fossil carbon fuel that can contribute to decarbonization goals, if the hydrogen can be made inexpensively.  GE has announced its latest 64+% efficient gas turbine combined cycle plants can run on blends with hydrogen from 5% to as high as 95%.  However, hydrogen has a habit of leaking out of pipelines unless those pipes are specifically built to contain it.  Expect to see more on this topic if interest grows in the “blending” strategy for decarbonization.

Thomas Hall

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStart's Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.

CleanStart Sponsors

Weintraub | TobinBlueTech Valley, Revrnt, 

Moss AdamsPowerSoft.biz, Greenberg Traurig, Momentum,

College of Engineering & Computer Science at Sacramento State


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