City of Lancaster Recognized as a Green Power Community by United States Environmental Protection Agency

Lancaster, CA. September 30, 2016 – Through the leadership of the Lancaster City Council, the City of Lancaster has been established as a municipal frontrunner in the alternative energy arena, both locally and abroad. The City’s ongoing achievements toward the goal of establishing a fully sustainable community environment have garnered its recent designation as the first Green Power Community in Southern California, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This distinguishes Lancaster as the leading municipality in the State of California focused on utilizing zero-emissions electricity.

“The City of Lancaster is working hard to give our residents and businesses easier access to renewable energy, as we strive to become a Zero Net Energy City,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “This recognition from the EPA reaffirms that we are on the right path, performing the right tasks, and pursuing the right vision as a community. We are proud to be forward-thinking, and a city of firsts, time and time again.”

Green Power Communities are areas which prioritize the use of “green” power in large quantities. Green power is zero-emissions electricity which is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydro power. The EPA recognizes these communities’ efforts to provide a better quality of life to both their current and future residents through improved air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and more sustainable practices. Lancaster is currently using more than 15 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar and wind energy annually — enough to power excess of 1,400 homes per year.

The City’s Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE) utility was instrumental in garnering Lancaster’s designation from the EPA. LCE Customers now realize significantly higher renewable energy content than what has been previously available. In addition, LCE offers a Clear Choice program that provides customers with 35% renewable energy. Customers may also “opt up” to the Smart Choice program, which uses 100% renewable energy. This offering, along with the City’s many other green initiatives, has propelled Lancaster into the forefront of alternative energy advocacy locally, regionally, and abroad.

City of Lancaster, sPower, and Lancaster Choice Energy Break Ground on First 10MW Local Renewable Energy Project to Support Lan

Lancaster, CA. August 11, 2016 – Today, the City of Lancaster and sPower, an independent energy producer, broke ground at sPower’s Western Antelope Dry Ranch facility located at 106th Street West and Avenue J. Once completed, this utility-scale solar power resource will serve up 10MWs of renewable energy to support Lancaster Choice Energy’s (LCE) Clear Choice and Smart Choice programs, marking just the beginning of what’s to come.

Last summer, Lancaster Choice Energy and sPower entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Moving forward with this environmentally-conscious endeavor, the partners anticipate a commercial operations date in late 2016. Once operational, the facility will not only reduce energy costs for LCE customers, but also advance the City’s Zero Net Energy agenda.

“We continue to work hard to establish Lancaster as the alternative energy capital of the world. Thus, our partnership with sPower is yet another step in the right direction,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We, as a City, look forward to seeing how this partnership will positively impact our citizens’ energy savings. We are proud to be taking the journey with sPower.”

The sPower Western Antelope Dry Ranch facility will dependably generate enough clean, renewable energy for more than 1,800 Lancaster homes. sPower will install roughly 41,000 photovoltaic (PV) modules mounted on a tracking system that follows the sun, thus allowing the panels to more efficiently capture energy. The company estimates a peak construction crew size of 75 to 80 employees for the Western Antelope Dry Ranch project.

In addition to the Western Antelope Dry Ranch facility, sPower has planned a number of projects in the surrounding area which will bring their renewable energy development total to 420MWs in the City of Lancaster. sPower continues to explore additional opportunities to assist the City with achieving its Zero Net Energy goals.

About Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE): Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE) is the new, locally-controlled electricity provider, created to offer residents and businesses within the City of Lancaster a viable alternative to traditional investor-owned utilities, offering more affordable rates and higher renewable content. www.LancasterChoiceEnergy.com.

About sPower: Headquartered in Salt Lake City, with offices in San Francisco and New York City, sPower is a prominent independent power producer (IPP) that owns and/or operates more than 150 utility and commercial distributed electrical generation systems across the United States and the UK. With greater than 1.7 gigawatts between construction and pipeline, sPower is actively buying select renewable assets in virtually any stage of development in North America and the UK. sPower is a portfolio company of Fir Tree Partners, a leading global investment fund with more than 20 years of investing history and approximately $13 billion of capital under management.

Lancaster Choice Energy’s Smart Choice Option Certified by Center for Resource Solutions’ Green-e Energy Program

SAN FRANCISCO, CA July 21, 2016—Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) announced today that Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE)’s Smart Choice renewable power option is now certified by Green-e Energy – North America’s leading independent certification program for renewable energy. LCE’s Smart Choice program, powered by 100% wind power, offers LCE customers the ability to “opt-up” to 100% renewable energy.

Launched in May 2015, LCE is a municipal community choice aggregation program serving approximately 52,000 electric service customers within the City of Lancaster, located in the northern Los Angeles County region of California. Renewable power generation for Smart Choice is sourced from wind facilities in the Western region.

“Lancaster has long been a pioneer in promoting renewable energy and reducing its environmental impact,” said CRS Executive Director Jennifer Martin. “We are excited that Lancaster Choice Energy is offering Smart Choice as an option for its customers to use 100% Green-e certified clean energy in their homes and businesses.”

“We are truly honored to receive the Green-e Energy designation,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We are proud to offer our residents and businesses 100% renewable energy through LCE’s Smart Choice option. Smart Choice is a key element of our City’s ongoing initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, as we progress to our ultimate goal of becoming a Net Zero City.”

Green-e Energy is the leading renewable energy certification and verification program in North America. Administered by CRS, the program is the only one of its kind in the U.S., providing independent, third-party certification to ensure that certified renewable energy meets strict environmental and consumer-protection standards. In fact, during 2014 more than 836,000 total retail customers—including 50,000 businesses—purchased nearly 38 million megawatt‐hours of Green-e certified electricity; enough to supply nearly half of all residential electricity use in California for a year.

Providers of Green-e Energy certified renewable energy agree to abide by the Green-e Energy Code of Conduct, and meet strict disclosure and truth-in-advertising requirements. All participants in Green-e Energy undergo an annual third-party verification audit to document that the company purchased or generated enough quantity and type of renewable energy to meet customer demand and marketing claims.

Customers can visit www.lancasterchoiceenergy.com/lce-smart-choice.html to learn more about the Smart Choice renewable power option.

About Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE)
Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE) is a new, locally-controlled electricity provider, created to offer residents and businesses within the City of Lancaster, CA, a viable alternative to traditional investor-owned utilities; with affordable rates and higher renewable content. Visit www.LancasterChoiceEnergy.com for more information.

About Green-e and Center for Resource Solutions
A program of the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions, Green-e is North America’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green-e offers certification and verification services through Green-e Energy, a renewable energy certification program; Green-e Climate, a greenhouse gas emission reduction certification program; and Green-e Marketplace, a program that provides forward-thinking organizations a simple, nationally recognized logo they can use to communicate their renewable energy and climate commitment to their customers and stakeholders. To learn more about Green-e Certified products and programs available in all 50 states and Canada, visit www.green-e.org.

©2016 Center for Resource Solutions. For more information, visit www.resource-solutions.org or call 415-561-2100.

City of Lancaster Invites Public to Submit Comments Regarding Climate Action Plan

Lancaster, CA. June 29, 2016 – During last night’s Lancaster City Council meeting, City staff presented a draft of the City’s proposed Climate Action Plan to the Council. Once implemented, the project-based plan will help lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while improving the overall quality of life throughout the Lancaster community. The City is now inviting the public to submit comments regarding the draft plan. Submitted comments will be reviewed for possible inclusion in the final version of the Climate Action Plan.

Once finalized, the Climate Action Plan will provide strategies, as well as a source of funding for a number of projects, including: transportation improvements, energy efficiency programs, and community enhancement projects. While drafting the plan, the city worked with consultants from Michael Baker International to include a GHG emissions inventory for community and municipal emissions. The plan highlights a number of implementable projects to help reduce GHG emissions and achieve federal, state, and local emission reduction goals. The complete draft of the Climate Action Plan can be found online at www.cityoflancasterca.org/about-us/sustainability/climate-action-plan-draft.

“A key strength of this City is our ability to plan and adapt to changing circumstances – whether economic or environmental in nature,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We encourage everyone to bring their unique ideas and insights to the table as we work together to implement strategies which will enable Lancaster to improve the quality of life throughout our city and the surrounding regions.”

The City will host an open house on Saturday, July 9 from 10 a.m. – noon at MOAH:CEDAR (44851 Cedar Avenue), where members of the public can share their input regarding the Climate Action Plan. Additionally, on Thursday, June 30 from 4 – 9 p.m., City staff will have comment cards available at The BLVD Farmers Market.

Comments may also be emailed to CAPcomments@cityoflancasterca.org. The deadline to submit comments is August 12, and the finalized Climate Action Plan is expected to be presented to City Council for proposed adoption as early as September 2016.

Lancaster Choice Energy Receives $1.47 Million Grant from California Energy Commission

Funds to Further the City’s Net Zero Efforts

Lancaster, CA. May 19, 2016 – Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE), the City of Lancaster’s very own locally-run clean energy power program, was recently awarded a $1.47 million dollar grant by the California Energy Commission. The grant serves as a way for LCE to fund the further development of programs, in order to expedite the adoption of clean energy initiatives. LCE worked in partnership with the Zero Net Energy Alliance to apply for the grant as a pilot city.

As one of only two cities in the state of California to receive this grant funding, Lancaster has once again made further headway towards becoming a Net Zero city.

“We are excited to receive this grant,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “It provides a greater means for us to increase and expand our green energy efforts throughout our community, bringing us even closer to our Net Zero goals.”

Along with the grant comes the tasks associated with Phase One, which entail creating a detailed business plan with the ultimate goal of becoming a true Net Zero community. LCE is no stranger to hard work, and working on Phase One will be no exception. The LCE team is looking forward to applying for Phase Two funding after successfully implementing Phase One of the program in 2018. Phase Two will offer an even more impressive $8 million grant to further LCE’s ever-growing agenda to make the community as green as possible.

For more information regarding Lancaster Choice Energy, and to see if clean energy is the best choice for you, visit http://www.lancasterchoiceenergy.com, call (661) 723-6084, or stop by the LCE counter at Lancaster City Hall between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lancaster Choice Energy to Host Information Booth at BLVD Farmers Market

Lancaster, CA. May 17, 2016 – The BLVD Farmers Market is an opportunity for the community to gather and enjoy a variety of fresh produce and unique items in an open market atmosphere along The BLVD, between Date and Fern Avenues, every Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. This week, the Market will have an addition to its usual offerings, with the inclusion of the Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE) information booth.

Lancaster Choice Energy is the City’s utility, which provides to both citizens and businesses cleaner, greener energy at affordable rates. This Thursday, LCE will be specifically promoting its Smart Choice Plan to passersby, giving them an opportunity to opt up to 100% renewable energy. Smart Choice is an additional 33 cents per day for residential customers and as little as one and a half cents more per kilowatt-hour for business customers. For CARE customers, adding the fully “green” program costs only $5 per month.

Residents and business owners are encouraged to stop by the LCE booth and learn more about the #SmartChoiceRevolution campaign. Not only will LCE representatives be available to answer any questions about the program, but cool giveaways will be distributed to inquiring citizens as well.

Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the benefits of going green in your home or business. Visit the LCE team this Thursday, May 19, between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. on The BLVD. This is your chance to have a truly positive impact on our community’s sustainability.

Lancaster Choice Energy to Offer Personal Choice Workshop May 21

Lancaster, CA. May 11, 2016 – Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE) is inviting residents who are currently solar customers or considering installing solar to attend a free Personal Choice Workshop.

Both residential and business customers can have their questions answered and learn more about the Personal Choice program—LCE’s net energy metering program which maximizes the benefits of having solar on their home or business. Attendees can also sign up for a free personalized account review with an LCE billing specialist.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, May 21 at 9 a.m. at the Stanley Kleiner Building at Lancaster City Park (43011 N. 10th Street West).
Light refreshments will be provided. Space is limited. Please RSVP by calling (661) 723-6084 or sending an email to info@LancasterChoiceEnergy.com

Lancaster Choice Energy to Celebrate First Year of Service, Community Invited to “Open House”

Lancaster, CA. May 10, 2016 – The City of Lancaster’s new energy utility, Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE), is celebrating its first anniversery this month. The community is invited to attend an LCE Open House event this Wednesday, May 11, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. at Lancaster City Hall, 44933 Fern Avenue. During the open house, citizens will be able to meet LCE staff members and learn more regarding the LCE service plans, while also enjoying raffle drawings and refreshments.

Join us Wednesday, as we celebrate LCE’s achievements over the past year. To find out more about LCE and the #SmartChoiceRevolution, stop by Lancaster City Hall, call 661-723-6084, or visit www.lancasterchoiceenergy.com.

Lancaster Choice Energy Invites Everyone to Celebrate Its First Birthday on May 11

Lancaster Choice Energy wants to celebrate its first birthday with YOU! Join LED the Light Bulb on May 11 at 3pm at Lancaster City Hall for some cake, candles, and giveaways.

Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE) is the first municipally-operated community choice aggregator and began serving Lancaster customers last May. Since then, LCE has become the default service provider for the City of Lancaster affording Lancaster residents with lower energy prices, local control, and cleaner energy.

For more information about Lancaster Choice Energy or how you can join the #SmartChoiceRevolution by opting up to Smart Choice 100% renewable energy, visit us at LancasterChoiceEnergy.com or call (661) 723-6084.

The BLVD in Lancaster Sizzles with the Inaugural Bacon, Blues & Brews May 14th

Lancaster, CA. April 28, 2016 – Bacon, Blues & Brews will sizzle on the BLVD in Lancaster with its inaugural event, May 14, 2016 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. for VIP guests, and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. for general admission. Dozens of local restaurants and chefs will offer culinary samples of their own unique spin on the star ingredient – BACON. More than 15 breweries will be sampling a variety of craft beers to help wash down all the bacon-y goodness, while and two stages feature live blues music for a pork-filled day and night of fun.

“Bacon, Blues & Brews marks the largest event in the history of the BLVD Association,” said Myrle McLernon, BLVD Association President and co-owner of Kinetic Brewing Company, which will participate as both a food vendor and craft beer vendor in the event. “With live music, mouth-watering cuisine designed exclusively for this event, party games, and my personal favorite – craft beer – Bacon, Blues & Brews will attract thousands to downtown Lancaster. We welcome residents of the Antelope Valley and beyond to join us for this incredible event.”

Some of Antelope Valley’s hottest chefs, including favorites from The BLVD in Lancaster, will be offering unique bacon-inspired samples spanning savory, sweet and, of course, salty delicacies. Star bacon purveyors include: BeX Bar & Grill with their bacon roulade and bacon croquettes; Cantarito Restaurant with their pork pupusas; Richeeze with the award-winning The Bacon Mac; Double “D” Cupcakes’ special bacon-infused cupcake; Giannini Bistro & Grill with their steak marinated in bacon; Pour D’Vino’s Crème Brulee infused with bacon and bacon-wrapped filet mignon; Waffle-Oh with bacon waffle-ohs; Izzy’s Taco truck with a special bacon taco; and Sugar Spin’s “salted caramel bourbon-spiced candied bacon cotton candy,” as well as “breakfast for dinner cotton candy.” These represent just a few of the bacon-inspired dishes which will be available from many restaurants and chefs.

VIP (Very Important Porklovers) ticket holders will have exclusive access at 12 noon, an hour prior to the general admission guests, plus they will enjoy access to two private VIP lounges. These include the Lantern Room at the Lancaster Museum of Art & History (MOAH), a rooftop lounge overlooking the main stage and bacon paradise on the BLVD, and BeX Bar & Grill’s lounge with its eclectic environment and access to a full bar (additional fee). VIP tickets also include access to private restrooms in both lounges and 10 bacon sample tickets.

Wash down the bacon before going back for more with a refreshing beer or wine. Just a few of the local and regional breweries sampling will include Kinetic Brewing Company, Lucky Luke’s, Bravery Brewing, Indian Wells Brewing, Angel City Brewing, Shock Top, Golden Road, Firestone Walker 805, Lagunitas Brewing, Ballast Point, Alaska Brewing, Angry Orchard, Sierra Nevada and Stone Brewing. Plus, Pour D’ Vino will provide tastes of their award-winning wines.

If festivalgoers need a break from all the delicious bacon and pork samplings, they can enjoy blues music from the two stages on The BLVD packed with local favorites. Bacon, Blues & Brews will feature live performances by the Mel Booker Band, Code Red, Boy’s Night Out, The Fulcos and MLC. Bacon lovers of all ages can head over to the Pig Pen to test their skills at pork-inspired games and activities, including Pork Ladder Toss, Bacon Bags (a.k.a. Cornhole), Connect Swine and even Bacon Chess. Festivalgoers will also be encouraged to participate in the “Sooey” pig-calling contest and the people’s choice award for the best bacon dish, with the winner earning a golden ticket to the annual World Food Championships. Of course, attendees will also have an opportunity to enjoy the many shops, restaurants and businesses along the BLVD.

“The BLVD Association is excited to be taking an even more proactive role in producing events for the downtown area and the Antelope Valley community,” said Bob Turner, Chair of the BLVD Association’s Marketing & Promotions Committee and owner of Aven’s Furniture. “We are extremely excited about Bacon, Blues & Brews, and encourage the public to come down and experience it firsthand. We’d also like to thank the many sponsors who have made this event possible.”

  • Bacon, Blues & Brews sponsors include:
  • Antelope Valley Harley-Davidson Hogs
  • Destination Lancaster
  • Adelman Broadcasting
  • Antelope Valley Fair
  • Antelope Valley Mall
  • Antelope Valley Transit Authority
  • BeX Bar & Grill
  • Hampton Inn & Suites
  • High Desert Broadcasting
  • Homewood Suites
  • Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE)
  • Lucky Luke Brewing Co.
  • Remax All Pro
  • Sierra Toyota Scion
  • Valleywide Dental
  • Waste Management

Advance tickets start at just $15 for general admission and are available online while they last. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the event’s presenting sponsor, Antelope Valley Harley-Davidson (1759 W. Ave. J-12 in Lancaster).

“On behalf of the City of Lancaster, I’d like to thank the BLVD Association for hosting this event,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “What this organization has managed to do with a single staff member and an all-volunteer board is truly remarkable. They have found innovative ways to partner with the private sector and leverage their resources to create a wonderful event for our community which will bring thousands of people to our downtown area. I’d like to thank them for their time, energy and effort, and for their ongoing commitment to our community.”

For more information about this one-of-a-kind porkalicious event and to purchase tickets, visit www.BaconOnTheBlvd.com.

About The BLVD Association

The BLVD Association is a coalition of downtown merchants and property owners dedicated to promoting the economic and cultural growth of our community’s downtown. Transformed into a Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) by a vote of property owners in 2013, the Association works to ensure that as the Antelope Valley’s premiere destination for shopping, dining and the arts, The BLVD is a place where friends meet, businesses thrive and the community comes together as one.