On Tuesday, April 24, the council will consider a proposal to enter into an agreement with Chevron Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Petroleum giant Chevron USA, for a comprehensive plan to make the city more environmentally efficient. The plan and scope of work could cost up to $75,000, but the fee would be waived if Chevron proceeds with work identified in the study.
The second meeting will take the place of the normal planning commission meeting Thursday, April 26, when the city will work on updating the city’s zoning code as required by the 2010 adopted general plan.
Chevron’s proposed agreement comes after nearly a year of meetings between city staff and corporate representatives.
Company officials said at a special council meeting in November that fitting 845 city-owned street lights with more efficient fixtures and installing solar panels at city facilities could make the city greener at a net cost near zero.
Possible locations for those solar panels include the corporation yard, sewage treatment plant and the city community complex, which includes the Hammon Senior Center and the aquatic center.
City Manager Rod Butler has said he learned of Chevron Energy Solutions from Mark Pressman, the city’s financial adviser. Pressman had worked on a project with Chevron in Benicia.
Chevron's study process would last 45 to 90 days. If the council opts to move forward with the project once the study is completed, it would take another five to seven months for construction and to implement the plan, according to a city staff report.
The city should not expect much economic gain immediately, but Chevron business development manager Alex Stankoski said in November that using solar energy would help hedge against higher energy costs that utilities pass on to customers.
The city could save money in the long run by having a reliable source of solar power for at least 25 years, the length of time for which solar panels have a warranty, he said.
On Thursday, the council will tackle the city’s zoning code update, discussing possible changes to the ordinance that regulates building and property standards for virtually every use.
The city needs to adopt new standards set forth in the 2010 General Plan. Those include strategies on where to place industrial businesses, retailers and homes in the future.
• Nick Rappley can be reached at 209-892-6187, ext 31, or firstname.lastname@example.org.