Valley Clean Energy Supports Yolo Food Bank with $2,500 Donation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 31, 2020

Press contact: Jim Parks, director of customer care and marketing
530-446-2750 | info@valleycleanenergy.org

Valley Clean Energy Supports Yolo Food Bank with $2,500 Donation

As the COVID-19 pandemic ramps up in the Yolo County region, many of us are wrestling with the hardship of confinement and with other, more tangible, constraints. That’s precisely why it’s more important than ever to be our best selves during these times.

Businesses have closed, countless workers have been laid off, and everyone has been asked to shelter in place. Many who have lost their jobs may not be able to pay rent or buy food for their families.

The Yolo Food Bank — always an important resource in our communities — steps in during these times to provide food for those in need. Food Bank representatives say the number of requests for help is on the rise and is expected to increase dramatically in the coming weeks.

Valley Clean Energy, which is focused on the health and well-being of the communities it serves, has donated $2,500 to the Yolo Food Bank in the hope that others might also contribute during this pandemic.

“We all need to work together to provide the most basic needs to members of our communities,” says Don Saylor, a Yolo County supervisor who chairs the VCE board of directors. “This is an opportunity to step up and help others.”

The Food Bank has been in business for almost 50 years and serves more than 53,000 individuals per month. It delivers 4 million-plus pounds of food per year to people who need it. The nonprofit agency’s mission is simple, yet profound — to end hunger and malnutrition in Yolo County.

“The Yolo Food Bank is a lifeline to many in our communities,” says Dan Carson, VCE vice-chair and a Davis City Council member. “They deserve our support in normal times, but especially now in this time of great need.”

Adds Mitch Sears, VCE’s interim general manager, “VCE was created to support our customers and give back to the community. That mission is even more important as we go through times of crisis like the COVID pandemic.”

Local residents can donate to the Yolo Food Bank by going to https://yolofoodbank.org/give/.

“We are all in this together,” Saylor says, reminding customers of the local electricity provider to stay informed by subscribing to VCE’s newsletter, joining VCE’s email list at www.valleycleanenergy.org or following the utility on social media at www.facebook.com/ValleyCleanEnergy.

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Peninsula Clean Energy To Grant $100 Low-Income Customer Credit

Peninsula Clean Energy To Grant $100 Low-Income Customer Credit

Short-term relief will be given in April to CARE, FERA residents

REDWOOD CITY, CA – March, 27, 2020 – Peninsula Clean Energy’s Board of Directors Thursday unanimously approved granting a $100 credit to provide relief to low-income customers.

The one-time on-bill credit will automatically be applied in April for roughly 30,000 San Mateo County customers who were covered under California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) rate plans as of March 20.

“With many of our customers facing shuttered workplaces and heightened anxiety about paying their bills, we hope this can provide some support during this difficult time,” Peninsula Clean Energy CEO Jan Pepper said.

“In these unprecedented times, this credit will help those most at risk of losing their paychecks and financial stability, particularly our most vulnerable low-wage earners,” East Palo Alto Vice-Mayor Carlos Romero said.

“This credit is a welcome respite for many hardworking men and women of South San Francisco who have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and its impact on our economy,” South San Francisco Councilmember Flor Nicolas said.

“With this credit, Peninsula Clean Energy helps those most vulnerable during these unbelievably difficult times,” San Bruno Councilmember Marty Medina said.

Customers already on the CARE or FERA rate plans as of March 20 do not need to take any action to receive the automatic bill credit. Those interested in qualifying for CARE’s monthly discount of at least 20 percent on gas and electricity or FERA’s monthly discount of 18 percent on electricity can learn more and gQQ!y on PG&E’s website.

About Peninsula Clean Energy

Peninsula Clean Energy launched in October 2016 as California’s fifth CCA and is the official local electricity provider for all of San Mateo County. Peninsula Clean Energy has the goal of providing 100 percent greenhouse gas-free power by 2021 and estimates that its lower rates are already saving its 290,000 San Mateo County customers an estimated $18 million a year compared to PG&E.

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Find out more at peninsulacleanenergy.com.

Media Contact
Darren Goode
Peninsula Clean Energy
dqoode@peninsulacleanenergy.com I (202) 550-6619

Valley Clean Energy Offers COVID-19 Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 25, 2020

Press contact:

Jim Parks, director of customer care and marketing 530-446-2750

info@valleycleanenergy.org

Valley Clean Energy Offers COVID-19 Update

As Yolo County residents join others throughout California in sheltering in place, Valley Clean Energy (VCE) is working to assure that customers receive a safe, reliable electricity supply throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Electricity has truly become the lifeblood of our lives as we self-isolate in our homes,” said Don Saylor, a Yolo County supervisor who chairs the VCE board of directors. “The cleaner electricity we buy for you will remain unchanged during this time.

“We want to assure our customers that the Valley Clean Energy team is working to ensure that lights will stay on; computers, phones and data centers will be powered; food and medicine will be refrigerated; and homes and water will be heated.”

PG&E, which delivers electricity to VCE’s customers, has temporarily suspended power shutoffs for nonpayment during these uncertain times. Customers who are affected by the coronavirus and its ripple effects can also take advantage of flexible payment plans.

“The assurance that teams are working to keep the power on while we shelter at home is critical for supporting our public health efforts to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Saylor said.

VCE has also taken steps to protect its employees, closing its administrative office in downtown Davis to customers and visitors until further notice and shifting to virtual meetings as staff members are teleworking.

But the local public power provider wants to do more than simply the basics, added Mitch Sears, interim general manager.

“VCE was created to support our customers and communities, and that mission is even more important as we all work together to find the best path through these challenges,” Sears said.

Sears invites VCE customers to:

· Reach out to the call center at 855-699-8232 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays to voice any comments, concerns or problems;

· Use this time at home to identify ways to save energy and money; and

· Offer ideas on ways VCE could help its local communities.

“We are all in this together,” Saylor said, reminding customers to stay informed by subscribing to VCE’s newsletter, joining VCE’s email list at www.valleycleanenergy.org or following the utility on social media at www.facebook.com/ValleyCleanEnergy.

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EBCE Temporarily Suspends Customer Collection Activities

EBCE is dedicated to serving all customers, regardless of their ability to pay, during the COVID-19 pandemic

Oakland, Calif. (March 20, 2020) – Given the current public health emergency caused by COVID-19 and the associated financial strain to many households and businesses, EBCE has suspended the return of non-paying customers back to PG&E service and is suspending collections activities through at least May 2020. As the local community choice energy program and electricity service provider for most of Alameda County, EBCE does not ever shut off power to customers. During normal operations, after providing notices and a grace period to non-paying customers, EBCE eventually returns these customers back to PG&E service. As of today, all of EBCE’s collections and customer return activities have been suspended.

“This is an important time to support our community and put health and safety first.” said EBCE’s CEO, Nick Chaset. “As a critical service provider for our community, EBCE is looking at ways to help those that are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Our staff continues to fulfill our duties while working from home, our call center is still available during business hours, and we are working to reduce negative impacts for our customers.”

EBCE is taking numerous actions to follow local guidelines for shelter in place and to support our customers:

  • EBCE’s scheduled Board of Directors meetings will be held remotely. Customers can participate and participate in meetings via online conferencing. Details are providing prior to meetings at https://ebce.org/public-meetings/.
  • At last night’s special meeting, EBCE’s board approved up to $75,000 in grants to local support programs such as the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Meals-on-Wheels of Alameda County. EBCE encourages companies, organizations, and individuals who are able to do so to also make contributions to local businesses and support programs. To donate to these two agencies, please visit: https://donate.accfb.org/ and https://www.feedingseniors.org/givetoday
  • EBCE’s office is closed and staff are working remotely to continue to serve customers.

For information regarding PG&E’s recent press release regarding a moratorium on power shut-offs due to nonpayment, please visit their website here.

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MCE is suspending the return of non-paying customers back to PG&E service, and suspending all collections activities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2020

Press Contact:
Jenna Famular | Communications Manager
(925) 378-6747 | jfamular@mceCleanEnergy.org

SAN RAFAEL and CONCORD, Calif. – In response to the COVID-19 crisis, MCE has suspended the return of non-paying customers back to PG&E service, and is suspending collections activities until further notice. As a local community choice electric service provider, MCE does not shut off power to customers. During normal operations, after providing notices and a grace period to non-paying customers, MCE eventually returns these customers back to PG&E bundled service.

For information regarding PG&E’s recent press release regarding a moratorium on power shut-offs due to nonpayment, please visit their website here.

“As always, MCE is committed to serving our customers with care and excellence.” said MCE’s CEO, Dawn Weisz. “Our team is completely functional through remote work tools, and most day-to-day operations remain unaffected. We are grateful to be able to offer our customers a suspension of collections and return to PG&E service during this time and will continue to work with our communities to meet needs as they arise.”

MCE has also taken a number of steps to follow guidelines set forth by the Federal and State governments, as well as the local shelter-in-place orders including:

  • MCE’s scheduled Board of Directors meetings will be held remotely in addition to in-person on March 19, 2020, with adherence to social distancing guidelines. Customers can participate and view this meeting via live-stream online here.
  • MCE’s scheduled unincorporated Solano County enrollment events on March 18, 2020 and April 4, 2020 will be held remotely. Information on accessing these meetings and recordings can be found online here.
  • MCE offices are closed and staff are working remotely to continue to serve customers.

For those looking for additional ways to help the community during this time, consider shopping at local businesses through online delivery or curbside pickup and purchasing gift certificates to use at a later time for those businesses that are unable to continue operations. If you are able, consider cash donations to your food bank or other institutions providing services to those in need.

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About MCE: As California’s first Community Choice Aggregation Program, MCE is a groundbreaking, not-for-profit, public agency that has been setting the standard for energy innovation in our communities since 2010. MCE offers cleaner power at stable rates, significantly reducing energy-related greenhouse emissions and enabling millions of dollars of reinvestment in local energy programs. MCE is a load-serving entity supporting a 1,000 MW peak load. MCE provides electricity service to more than 480,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents and businesses in 34 member communities across four Bay Area counties: Napa, Marin, Contra Costa, and Solano. For more information about MCE, visit mceCleanEnergy.org.

Download Press Release (pdf)

Billboard Company Goes 100% Renewable on Sonoma Clean Power’s EverGreen Service

SANTA ROSA, Calif., March 16, 2020  — Veale Outdoor Advertising, a Sonoma County based company that specializes in outdoor advertisements, is making the transition to 100% renewable energy.

For many of the County’s residents, passing by the electronic billboard in Rohnert Park on Highway 101 is a regular, if not daily, occurrence. Now, the billboard, along with others owned by Veale Outdoor Advertising throughout the County, are powered by locally generated renewable energy from Sonoma Clean Power.

Veale Outdoor Advertising, like many businesses today, has been exploring ways to reduce its environmental impact. Upgrading to EverGreen, the 100% renewable option from Sonoma Clean Power, is one of the most significant steps the company has taken to date.

By choosing EverGreen, nearly all the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Veale Outdoor Advertising’s electricity use will be eliminated.

“After over 50 years of service and support from our community, we are honored to give back by lowering our carbon footprint by converting all of our outdoor billboards, both static and electronic, to EverGreen sustainable energy. We are so proud to be part of this new sustainable form of renewable energy,” said Tom Jackson, General Manager of Veale Outdoor Advertising.

EverGreen is the first service of its kind available to businesses in California. Sonoma Clean Power is the only energy provider in the State to offer an electricity option that is entirely renewable and local, that runs 24/7.

The majority of 100% renewable services are made from solar and still rely on natural gas or other non-renewables when solar energy is not being generated. EverGreen is different.

By utilizing local solar power from facilities in Willits, Cloverdale, and Petaluma when the sun is out, and geothermal power from The Geysers when the sun is down, homes and businesses who’ve chosen EverGreen never encourage the burning of fossil fuels.

For businesses interested in investing in renewable energy, EverGreen can also be a cheaper and easier alternative to installing a commercial solar system.

“We are very excited to have a local business like Veale Outdoor Advertising making a visible and meaningful commitment to 100% renewable energy in our community. Their efforts today are helping to lead us toward a healthier future for Sonoma and Mendocino counties,” said Erica Torgerson, Director of Customer Service at Sonoma Clean Power.

Valley Clean Energy Makes Major Solar-Power Purchase

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press contact: Jim Parks, director of customer care and marketing
530-446-2750 | info@valleycleanenergy.org

Yolo County, CA, Feb. 19, 2020 — The Valley Clean Energy Alliance has announced that its board of directors voted Thursday, Feb. 13, to purchase 50 megawatts of renewable power from a new solar park in Kings County.

The power from the park will replace current short-term power contracts allowing VCE to deliver higher levels of renewable power at competitive prices.

VCE’s 15-year contract with Aquamarine Westside, LLC, CIM Group’s solar project, will begin when the project enters commercial operation, anticipated in 2021. The Aquamarine project is in Westlands Solar Park, a 21,000-acre, master-planned clean energy park with more than 2 gigawatts of solar production potential.

“Valley Clean Energy is pleased to have CIM Group’s Aquamarine project as a new, long-term partner,” said Don Saylor, a Yolo County supervisor and VCE board chair. “This solar project is a win-win enterprise, generating cost-effective renewable power on brownfield land that is unusable for agriculture due to excess salt accumulation in the soil.”

The Aquamarine project was selected via a solicitation process in which dozens of projects competed. The decision was based on criteria adopted by the VCE board designed to select cost-effective California-based renewable projects that minimize impacts on prime farmland and avoid environmentally protected species and habitat.

Westlands Solar Park scored well on these criteria and has strong support from both agricultural and environmental organizations.

“We considered location, sensitivity to impacts on land and the environment, development progress, renewable technology and economics in making our choice,” Saylor said.

In addition to this first 50 MW, Saylor said the VCE board looks forward to contracting for additional energy in the near future. He added that VCE is actively taking steps with multiple renewable power producers to procure 75 percent renewable energy by 2022.

“Each move we make toward ‘greening’ our power portfolio with cost-effective, clean sources is a step toward a better energy future for our planet,” added Dan Carson, a Davis City Council member and VCE board vice chair.

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About VCE: Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit public agency formed in June 2018 to provide electrical generation service to customers in Woodland, Davis, and the unincorporated areas of Yolo County. The city of Winters is VCE’s newest member. VCE’s mission is to source cost-competitive clean electricity while providing product choice, price stability, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emission reductions and reinvestment in the communities we serve.

Pollinator-Friendly Groundcover Now Required for New Solar Projects

MCE is excited to announce a pollinator program requirement designed to safeguard critical habitats.* MCE is the first Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program that requires new solar project partners to plant pollinator-friendly ground cover throughout the project site and submit a pollinator scorecard every three years.

This new requirement – which applies to both our Feed-in Tariff program and power purchase agreements – will take even greater advantage of land where solar projects are built, ensuring that the space is used to generate clean energy for our customers, while providing much-needed habitat for pollinators such as monarch butterflies.

“We are greatly encouraged by MCE’s decision to become the first community choice aggregation organization to require a pollinator-friendly scorecard in its solar procurement,” said Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy. “Requiring disclosure of what will be growing under and around PV solar panels is a critical and meaningful first step toward encouraging greater innovation in ground cover design and management. Recovery of the western monarch population will only happen with thoughtful initiatives that encourage the creation of acres of flowering meadows like this one by MCE.”

Pollinator species including monarch butterflies, native bees, hummingbirds, moths, and other wildlife have experienced global population decline over the last 10 years due to habitat loss, climate change, and exposure to chemicals such as pesticides.

MCE’s new pollinator program requirement will provide additional habitat for these critical pollinators and ensure best practices for keeping habitats healthy long term, including prohibiting chemical spraying at pollinator sites, and mowing and maintaining the sites at times that are most appropriate for supporting pollinator populations.

“We are very excited about MCE’s recent decision to require pollinator-friendly habitats as part of new solar projects,” said Linzi Gay, Clif Family Winery’s General Manager. “MCE is already a strong partner to Clif, allowing us to further our mission by purchasing Deep Green 100% renewable energy. This new policy further demonstrates MCE’s commitment to being a thoughtful community partner.”

Largest CCA Renewable Project Comes Online


Media Contact
Darren Goode
Peninsula Clean Energy
dgoode@peninsulacleanenergy.com
(202) 550-6619

Largest CCA Renewable Project Comes Online

Groundbreaking 200-MW Wright Solar provides model for creating local clean power jobs

REDWOOD CITY, CA – January, 22, 2020 – The largest renewable energy installation ever built for a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) agency is officially online.
Peninsula Clean Energy this month began providing more solar power to California’s San Mateo County from the 200-megawatt utility-scale Wright Solar Project located in the nearby Central Valley.

“This is actual new steel in the ground that will send more clean and affordable power to our customers,” Peninsula Clean Energy CEO Jan Pepper said. “As a leader among CCAs in California and nationwide, we are proving that aggressive movement toward 100 percent carbon-free power can be both environmentally and economically beneficial. Wright Solar is just the beginning of what is possible for providing good jobs and strong economic benefits to areas such as Merced County in California’s Central Valley.”

Peninsula Clean Energy has an exclusive 25-year power purchase agreement with Wright Solar Park LLC to buy all of the facility’s electricity to power more than 100,000 San Mateo County homes.

The solar facility was constructed by Swinerton Renewable Energy with roughly 400 union workers from the surrounding areas that were hired as part of a five-union project labor agreement.

That agreement was a result of Peninsula Clean Energy’s workforce policy requirements developed in consultation with local building trades and other unions.
“This project illustrates the vast potential that solar and other renewable generation can have in Merced County and Central California, from new construction jobs to millions of dollars in new tax revenues,” said Lloyd Pareira, chairman of the Merced County Board of Supervisors.

“The Wright Solar Project showcases how local hires can complete a project in an amazing timeframe and provide a huge economic stimulus to the surrounding community,” said Bobby Stutzman, business manager at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 684. “This is also one of those projects that will transcend construction and can be used by the building trades and other unions as a model for future labor agreements.”

Laborers, electricians, iron workers, carpenters, operators and engineers – many from the Bakersfield and Fresno areas – joined forces to install roughly 650,000 4-by-2-foot solar panels and accompanying equipment in only 11 months.

The Wright project is owned by Centaurus Renewable Energy and the construction and operations are managed by Clēnera, LLC.

The project adds to an escalating trend of new development spearheaded by CCAs that is advancing clean energy, economic development and green jobs throughout California and elsewhere. California’s 19 CCAs have on average added roughly 1,000 MW annually in long-term renewable energy purchase agreements, and are expected to make long-term investments in more than 10,000 MW of new clean energy resources and energy storage by 2030.

That includes a joint solicitation in November from Peninsula Clean Energy and three other Bay Area CCAs for the installation of more than 30 MW of battery storage to 6,000 homes and hundreds of businesses, adding a clean and resilient backstop to areas hit by PG&E power shutoffs.

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Monterey Bay Community Power Becomes Primary Electricity Provider for Cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo

Community Choice Energy Model Will Deliver Economic and Environmental Benefits  

San Luis Obispo, CA January 9, 2020 – Ushered in by the communities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) will begin delivering cost savings and other clean-energy benefits to residents and businesses in Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo throughout January 2020. As the new, primary electricity provider for these cities, service will begin automatically for customers on their monthly meter-read date.

MBCP has already energized significant economic and environmental progress in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties since its March 2018 launch and will expand on these benefits by growing its service area along the Central Coast. In early 2021, the not-for-profit public agency will begin service for the Cities of Arroyo Grande, Carpinteria, Del Rey Oaks, Goleta, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, Santa Maria, Solvang, and the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County, making MBCP the largest agency of its kind in the State by geography.

“I am proud to support a vision of carbon-free future for all. Our community has seen the impacts of fossil fuel pollution and climate change here in our town and across California,” shared Heidi Harmon, Mayor of San Luis Obispo.  “Joining Monterey Bay Community Power gives our community an opportunity to accelerate meaningful and equitable change that helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stimulates the local economy through energy programs and cost savings.”

MBCP is partnering with PG&E on delivering better and more affordable electricity service. MBCP will become the primary electric generation provider leveraging carbon-free resources at a lower cost and PG&E will continue its traditional role delivering electricity as well as maintaining infrastructure and billing. Both MBCP and PG&E are committed to a transparent and informed transition for all customers.

“Transparency and accountability are hallmark principles of public agencies like MBCP,” shares MBCP CEO, Tom Habashi. “All our financials and our Board Meetings are accessible and open to the public. Like all other community choice energy agencies, we are accountable to our Policy and Operations Boards and to the communities that we serve.”

Other than savings, the only change that customers will see on their bill is a new line item for MBCP Electric Generation Charges. PG&E will no longer include electric generation charges inside their bundled service, they will only bill for transmission and distribution. Customers will continue receiving only one electric bill from PG&E, which includes both PG&E charges for transmission and distribution, as well as MBCP charges for electric generation.

Between November 2019 and March 2020 every electricity customer in Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo will receive four unique mailers outlining who MBCP is, what the change means for customers, how the enrollment process will unfold and what benefits customers can look forward to. MBCP’s Public Engagement team has been available to answer questions at the SLO Farmer’s Market and during walk-in hours in both cities. Customers need take no action to receive service from MBCP which provides monthly cost savings, access to energy program funding and support for MBCP’s carbon-free power mix.

Formed with the goals of delivering cost savings, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to the economic vitality of the communities it serves, MBCP currently maintains a 95% enrollment rate in the Monterey Bay Region.

John Headding, Mayor of Morro Bay declared, “The benefits of joining Monterey Bay Community Power are significant. We’re thrilled to be part of such a progressive movement that provides more affordable electricity, innovative energy programs, and local economic investment through such a collaborative Central Coast community choice energy agency.”

To date, MBCP has provided customers in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties with a total savings of $18.4 million on electric-generation costs. In addition, the nearly two-year old agency made more than $8 million in energy program funding available to customers in 2019, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions through transportation and building initiatives. MBCP anticipates businesses and residents in Morro Bay saving a combined $246,578 in 2020, while the City of SLO is on track to save $1.3 million. MBCP credits its ability to provide savings and community reinvestment to an unyielding commitment to clean energy sources, running a small and efficient operation, and remaining engaged with key stakeholders in the communities it serves. For more information regarding the Monterey Bay Community Power enrollment for the Cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, please visit http://www.mbcp.org/enrollment

Monterey Bay Community Power is a Community Choice Energy agency established by local communities to source carbon-free electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties and now the cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo. PG&E will continue their traditional role delivering power and maintaining electric infrastructure. As a locally controlled not-for-profit public agency, MBCP is not taxpayer funded and supports regional economic vitality by providing clean energy at a lower cost, supporting low-income rate payers, and funding local energy programs. For more information, visit www.mbcp.org    

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LINK to press release webpage including press event images and graphics:

https://www.mbcommunitypower.org/press_release/monterey-bay-community-power-becomes-primary-electricity-provider-for-cities-of-morro-bay-and-san-luis-obispo/