Chula Vista Makes the Switch to Green Power
SACRAMENTO, CA — June 30, 1999 — The Chula Vista City Council voted yesterday to purchase "green" energy for all of the city's electric needs from Commonwealth Energy of Orange County — making it one of a growing number of San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) members to make the switch to purely renewable resources. Commonwealth Energy — who previously supplied SANDAG members with electricity generated primarily from out-of-state coal plants — has emerged as the state's leading green power marketer, signing nearly 60,000 residential and commercial customers.
"Business is now booming for Commonwealth," said Fred Bloom, Commonwealth's Chief Executive Officer. "We've gone from six to 200 employees and will reach $38 million in gross sales by the end of our fiscal year this July."
Commonwealth switched from "peddling brown" to "pushing green" power this past January after Chula Vista City Councilman John Moot's challenged Bloom to "go green." Since the switch in strategy, Commonwealth's profits have increased ten-fold.
"Many people told me a deregulated electric market would be a disaster for the environment," said Moot. "But I believe with every change, there comes an opportunity. Over the long-term, local governments can help create a market for investment in renewable energy."
To date 38 SANDAG members have made the switch to green energy — including the Bonsalt Union School District, City of Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District, San Dieguito Irrigation District, Solano Beach School District and South Bay Union School District. To date 38 other public agencies have signed up for green power.
Commonwealth markets geothermal energy owned by San Jose-based Calpine Corporation, one of the nation's largest independent power producers. Calpine has emerged as the nation's largest geothermal power producer after purchasing geothermal steam fields from Unocal for $101 million, and 14 power plants representing 700 MW from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for $212.8 million. All are located in "The Geysers" which represent the world's largest geothermal resource.
Geothermal energy is produced by harvesting the heat from magma lava that creeps close to the surface of the earth in areas that are seismically or volcanically active.
CEERT contact: Lori Jablonski (916) 442-7785