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Unsung Heroes: Week of May 11

Post Date:05/14/2020 1:00 PM

San Jose Clean Energy Heroes!

The Community Energy Department (CED) is responsible for supplying power to over 325,000 residential and commercial customers in San José through the operation of San José Clean Energy (SJCE), the new default electricity generation provider. The full 28-person team has continued to work hard to ensure seamless electricity generation service during the ongoing stay-at-home order. CED is celebrating the recent signing of two power purchase agreements (PPAs) that will result in the construction of 162 megawatts of solar plus battery storage in Kern County, California. This accomplishment will provide enough renewable electricity to power nearly 79,000 homes and have the same climate impact as removing 1.3 million cars from the road.

On SJCE's achievement and continuity of operations, CED Director Lori Mitchell said, “I'm really proud of the way our team has worked together to continue our operations despite these challenging times. I think the completion of these two projects, especially, highlights our team’s commitment to benefitting our community and achieving our Climate Smart San José goals.” The department would especially like to highlight the efforts of Jeanne Solé, Phil Cornish, Paul Innamorato, Kelly Morris, Allen Fong, Ross daSilva, Ken De Kay, Dessu Endeshaw, Jeannette Mestaz, and other members of the CED team that supported these contracts to advance the City's goal of bringing cleaner energy to San José. SJCE is a pillar of the City’s Climate Smart climate action plan – the City’s greenhouse gas emissions decrease significantly as SJCE’s electricity supply gets cleaner and sectors like buildings and transportation are electrified.

Thank you to the SJCE team for your dedication to providing this essential service to our community!

You can read more about the benefits of renewable energy and what these PPAs mean for San José on SJCE's website.

Frontline Heroes!

  • Nancy Macias, Public Information Representative in the Library, has worked tirelessly to lead a team of staff in communicating Library resources to the public during this unprecedented closure of services. Nancy oversees newsletters, social media, and creates content for weekly updates in English and Spanish, while also lending her media relations talents to the EPIO Unit in the EOC.
  • Greg Terwilliger, Senior Electrician in Public Works, has used his experience responding to other emergencies to help his department develop safety procedures and workplans to keep critical City infrastructure functioning. “Greg exemplifies what it means to be a civil servant,” said his supervisor, Sean Davis. This sentiment was echoed by Walter Lin, Deputy Director in Public Works, “Greg is an exemplary employee that shows leadership, dedication, and a commitment in doing great work while ensuring everyone on the team remains safe.”
  • Felicita Nichols, Youth Outreach Worker in PRNS, works in Youth Intervention’s Female Intervention Team. Due to COVID-19, she is unable to spend time with the young women she is responsible for working with. However, she has taken an “outside the box” approach to her work by incorporating Zoom for curriculum and DJ sets, writing prompts, and other means of connecting virtually with program participants. “I feel so thankful for her,” said Felicita’s manager, Helene Ehrlich, and adding “it makes me happy knowing that those girls are emotionally taken care of during this time.”

Each of these employees has been singled out by their colleagues, supervisors, and/or managers for their tremendous efforts, and for setting a positive example for others, during the City’s response to COVID-19. Thank you to Nancy, Greg, and Felicita for continuing all of your hard work through these challenging times!

City Manager Dave Sykes highlighted each of these projects during his report to the City Council on May 12. View the entire presentation on the City’s YouTube Channel.

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