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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

City of Davis to invest in environmental infrastructure as Yolo County works toward green energy

The first phase includes electric vehicle fleet procurement as part of the Electrify Yolo Project 

By CHRIS PONCE  — city@theaggie.org

 

The city of Davis has been undergoing environmental changes under the first phase of Electrify Yolo. This regional project is being led by Davis and one of its major goals is to expand the electric vehicle fleet, as explained by Mayor Gloria Partida. 

The City of Davis is committed to doing its part to reaching carbon neutrality,” Partida said. “Part of that is finding ways to electrify its fleet. As part of the Electrify Yolo regional Project, of which the City of Davis is the lead agency, we have initiated the first phase of making this a reality exploring ways to install electric vehicle infrastructure. This is the first part of a phased approach to electrify Yolo.”

On Feb. 9, the city met with Jim Provenza and Don Saylor of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors to discuss the electric vehicle “fleet procurement” and other climate initiatives. The discussion items included climate action initiatives, the adult day health center and the long range planning center. Early into the meeting, Mayor Partida spoke on the importance of cooperation between county and city efforts. 

“That’s the one thing I am interested in, figuring out ways that we can align some of our efforts with the county’s efforts,” Partida said. “Maybe we can both save some money around the efforts we are putting out.” 

During the meeting, members of both the city and county expressed the benefits that can be seen from working together to implement such environmental policies. Both parties have a close relationship working together to achieve their goals of being carbon negative by 2030, according to the Director of Yolo County Community Services Department, Taro Echiburu. Echiburu described the actions that need to be taken first.

“We’re thinking that it might be advantageous for us to put together an actual electric vehicle fleet plan, to really understand what comes first,” Echiburu said. “Do we buy the vehicles first or do we [install] the charging stations first?”

The meeting also mentioned Unitrans’ plan to move to all electric and how charging stations were mapped out for its transportation. The city of Davis is making other plans to advance and encourage environmental responsibility as well. On Feb. 16, Davis announced that it is seeking nominations for the 28th Annual Environmental Recognition Awards. 

Moves are also being made by the local community and county to move to green energy and combat climate change. On Feb. 23, Davis City Council announced that Valley Clean Energy is opening applications for two “at-large seats” for the Community Advisory Committee (CAC). Valley Clean Energy is responsible for providing green electric energy as part of Yolo County’s green climate initiatives. This agency includes Davis, Woodland and Winters. In an official statement, CAC member Christine Shewmaker explained the importance of the CAC and the impact it has on the environment. 

“As a scientist and someone who loves the outdoors, the urgency to address climate change is clear,” Shewmaker said. “Being on the CAC allows me to help VCE succeed in its mission: to provide clean electricity, taking real action on climate change while reinvesting in the community.”

Meetings for CAC are scheduled for the fourth Thursday of every month. Virtual meetings are available in response to the pandemic. Members will also be appointed for a three-year long term. 

The CAC is responsible for advising members of Valley Clean Energy and reflecting the thoughts and opinions held by the communities that they represent (communities across Yolo County). A statement from Valley Clean Energy details each VCE jurisdiction will have two representatives (11 members for the VCE in total).  

The city of Davis is encouraging applicants from diverse communities. The application open to all residents 18 years and older can be found on a PDF listed on the Valley Clean Energy website. Applications can be submitted by mail to Valley Clean Energy at 604 2nd Street, Davis, CA 95616 or via email to Alisa.Lembke@ValleyCleanEnergy.org

The Davis community is taking strides towards green energy. Both Davis and Yolo County are continuing to work hand in hand to achieve these goals together. County Supervisor Don Saylor emphasized that the county is taking bold actions in order to achieve their plans.

“The work that the county is doing with our climate action commission, we have an aggressive goal, and a deliberate process to achieve it,” Saylor said.

 

Written by: Chris Ponce — city@theaggie.org

 

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