What is Clean Electricity?

What is Clean Energy?

Clean electricity comes from renewable sources, such as wind or solar as opposed to the burning of fossil fuels. As electricity use increases due to electrification of transportation and buildings, the City will support more distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar and energy storage within the community as well as supporting more renewable sources in our electricity supply mix.

Play 1.1: Promote 100% clean electricity

GHG Emissions from Electricity Use

Sunnyvale has made tremendous progress in reducing emissions in the electricity sector, and with the launch of Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) in 2017, 98% of Sunnyvale’s residential and commercial accounts received carbon-free electricity, which resulted in a 76% reduction of GHG emissions from electricity generation. 

While SVCE has taken us a long way to reducing the emissions associated with our electricity use, there is still more that can be done by maximizing local solar production and investing in local storage to use the clean energy we produce most effectively.

This means shifting use of natural gas to electricity.  You can find out more about what we're doing in this area under Decarbonizing Buildings

Play 1.1: Promote 100% clean electricity

Increasing Renewable Energy

Sunnyvale like many other communities has been able to speed the transition of our electricity supply to clean renewable energy through our participation with Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) and their community choice aggregation program. SVCE  is a community-owned electricity provider for the majority of Silicon Valley and Sunnyvale has the largest participation by total electric load. Through this program, we are well on our way to a 100% clean electricity supply.

In addition to managing our electric supply, SVCE supports a variety of programs to eliminate all fossil fuels from our buildings and transportation sector.

Play 1.1: Promote 100% clean electricity

Community Choice Aggregation

Community-wide electricity can be supplied by different providers, including investor-owned utilities (like PG&E), wholesale electricity markets (used by some businesses), and by local building-scale projects, such as rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV). Sunnyvale has made tremendous progress in reducing emissions in this key sector by launching a community choice aggregation program. Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) is a community choice aggregator that provides carbon-free electricity to most of our community. 

Community agency sources the electricity, who delivers through PG&E to the customer (you) the benefit from clean energy.

Play 1.1: Promote 100% clean electricity

What is Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)?

CCA is an alternative energy supply system that allows local governments to collectively buy energy, offering lower costs for consumers and greener energy supply opportunities. This has become a popular strategy throughout California with 21 CCAs serving the energy needs of more than 10 million customers in more than 170 cities as of May 2020.

Play 1.2 Increase Solar PV

Our Targets

The City is exploring the feasibility of a local ordinance requiring solar installations on new commercial buildings built in 2020 or later.  By ensuring that every new building is contributing to our goals instead of just adding energy demand, we'll be much better positioned to achieve our targets

Play 1.2: Increase Local Solar Photovoltaics (PV).

Solar Installation

Year over year we've seen consistent growth in the amount of solar installed across Sunnyvale. On average every year we add enough solar capacity to generate about 3.5 million kWh of electricity, which equals the energy demand of around 245 homes. 

There is ample roof space in the community for more solar, so let's keep this trend going!

Play 1.2: Increase Local Solar Photovoltaics (PV).

Local Solar Targets

We're on track to meet our 2030 and 2050 targets for local solar generation, though we might need to step up our game in the near term. If we maintain the average rate of installation that we've seen over the past 5 years, we would hit 3% of local electricity demand in 2031, but we would hit 5% ahead of schedule by 2039.

It's going to take about 3,000 more homes to install solar to meet the 2030 target. Could your home be next?

Play 1.3 Increased Distributed Electricity Storage

Why is storage important?

Energy storage plays a growing role in ensuring a resilient power grid as it allows for individual home owners with solar the ability to store clean energy when the sun is shining and that stored energy to displace more expensive and often dirtier power sources.

Not only does community-scale energy storage maximize local solar supply it also helps to support a resilient power grid.

Energy storage is supported by a battery, inverter, electric panel, and metering.

Play 1.3 Increased Distributed Electricity Storage

Our Targets

Our targets for energy storage will enable us to meet other community goals by ensuring more locally produced clean energy is available for serving high demand times of day.

We are working to develop new ways to measure the amount of battery capacity installed in Sunnyvale to track our progress on this goal.

Be a Part of the Solution!

Check out these resources for maximizing clean energy!

There are so many things you can do today to make a big difference for our future. Use clean energy to power your home and car. 


Save money and protect the earth with SVCE E-Hub

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Choosing clean energy combats climate change, saves money, and builds community resilience. Opt-up to 100% renewable energy today

SVCE 100% Clean Energy
Learn more about the benefits of battery storage and find competitive installers.

Energy Sage: Solar batteries for home use
Cost savings range depending on the % of renewable energy consumed.