City of Fresno
At a Glance
Clean and Renewable Energy, Engagement and Behavior Change
Keith Glassbrook investigated opportunities for implementing a community solar project and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the City of Fresno.
California’s Central Valley doesn’t have the balmy climate one envisions in California. It’s made up of blistering hot summers and chilly winters that lead to high energy bills for small businesses. City of Fresno Councilmember Esmeralda Soria who represents the Tower District 1, initiated the Power the Tower Project in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund and Fresno State University in 2016. The City of Fresno, Central Valley’s largest city, is launching its 2017 Power the Tower report, aimed at transforming the Historic Tower District into a 100% clean energy community and representing a model for accelerating equity in clean energy solutions. EDF Climate Corps fellow Keith Glassbrook was brought in to learn of the Tower District’s small business energy-related needs and investigate opportunities for both a community solar project and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
To better understand energy-related needs of small businesses, Glassbrook worked with the local utility, PG&E. He conducted surveys to collect energy data from individual businesses, and after identifying the most engaged businesses, he made the business case for how saving energy could help them further their missions.
Glassbrook used a three-part process to investigate solar and EV opportunities. He researched online, conducted interviews and surveyed the district’s small businesses to understand the basics of, as well as gauge interesting in, implementing community solar and EV charging in the U.S., specifically CA.
As components to be used in a roadmap analysis, Glassbrook wrote features--essentially factsheets--for three Tower District businesses: a music academy, a church, and a thrift store. These features illustrate the perceptions of the diverse businesses and organizations on community solar and EV. Having collected all the relevant input, he was able to identify two community solar sites and four EV charging stations for further investigation.
Glassbrook’s data and site recommendations better position the Power the Tower team to achieve its fall 2017 deadline for developing their roadmap analysis. With the roadmap complete, they can then pursue funding opportunities to implement the vision of transforming Fresno’s Tower District into a model clean energy community.