eLab Accelerator 2018

DEEP-HARBOR: Distributed Energy Equity Program - Health And Resilience Benefitting Our Residents

Project Objective

To align on goals and roadmap a process to design a preferred resources pilot to benefit disadvantaged communities in the southwest Los Angeles region that will provide a replicable alternative to traditional approaches to meeting local resource requirements by aggregating DERs with a focus on health and equity co-benefits.

Team Members

  • Elena Krieger, Director of Clean Energy Program, PSE Healthy Energy

  • Boris Lukanov, Associate of Clean Energy Program, PSE Healthy Energy

  • Alex Turek, Multifamily Development Manager, GRID Alternatives

  • Bahram Fazeli, Director of Research & Policy, Communities for a Better Environment

  • Yamen Nanne, DER Planning Manager, LADWP

Project Description

The project team is working to design a preferred resources pilot in the southwest Los Angeles area. The team will identify aggregated energy resources to provide required grid services with an emphasis on societal co-benefits using such building blocks as: 1) Increased access to solar and storage in low-income communities; 2) Commercial DERs sited to minimize backup diesel generator use and particulate matter emissions, particularly near vulnerable populations; 3) Community solar deployment on unused warehouse rooftops and other opportunities to enhance LADWP’s current community solar plans; 4) Pilot-wide storage aggregation and demand management to charge batteries at times of lowest marginal emissions and discharge at times of peak regional demand. The team expects this pilot to model how local DER deployment can yield local health, equity and economic benefits in addition to grid services.

Progress Made to Date (pre-Accelerator)

Prior to the Accelerator event, the team has engaged with relevant stakeholders (from community, installer, private sector, regulatory, non-profit, regulatory and utility entities) and assembled a team from these groups; conducted initial analysis of power plant operation, community demographic indicators, emissions, and air quality in the southwest Los Angeles area, with a focus on emissions in and near disadvantaged communities; and begun to identify and explore potential pilot building blocks, including both technical requirements (e.g. DERs) and financial requirements (e.g. leveraging existing funds for low-income solar installations).

Post-Accelerator outcomes

At Accelerator, the team gained clarity and alignment first on why they are pursuing this effort - what the potential benefits could be to various stakeholders, and why these are important to the team members. The team also started to define what this effort should look like, including ideas for phased approaches and combining programs both within and outside of the utility, LADWP. Finally, the team left Accelerator with a clear roadmap of next steps and actions in order to advance the project in the coming months.