Joint Venture Silicon Valley provides ANALYSIS, ACTION, LEADERSHIP

Joint Venture Silicon Valley provides




What's Happening Now

Municipal Internet of Things Blueprint Released

Innovation CitiesJuly 10, 2019 – Joint Venture's civic technology team announced publication of Municipal Internet of Things (IoT) Blueprint, a free PDF download to inform local government leaders about trends in the IoT. Published by the Wireless SuperCluster, a part of the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) project, and led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the tool was co-edited by David Witkowski, Executive Director of Joint Venture’s Civic Technologies Program.

Data Release: Silicon Valley has access to cleaner power than CA or the U.S.

solar panels and wind millsJuly 9, 2019 - The Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies has released a comparative analysis of local sources of power by emissions intensity. In just three years, the majority of Silicon Valley energy customers – both residents and businesses alike – have transitioned away from PG&E to community choice energy programs.

Read the release

Joint Venture & SVCE Tackle Green Building Rules

Illustration showing connection between clean electricity and clean communityJuly 1, 2019 - Joint Venture is partnering with Silicon Valley Clean Energy to promote local green building rules through an innovative mechanism called reach codes. Under state law, cities and counties may adopt local ordinances that exceed state codes to ensure new buildings promote a clean and healthy future through greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.

Learn More

Joint Venture Food Recovery Partners with Loaves & Fishes

Loaves & Fishes logoCollaboration will double community impact

July 1, 2019 – Joint Venture Silicon Valley and Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen have formed a partnership that will enable Joint Venture’s Food Recovery initiative, known as A La Carte, to transfer day-to-day operations to Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen. Effective immediately, A La Carte operations will be managed by Loaves & Fishes, including pick-up and delivery operations and the fleet of trucks that deliver meals to people who are in need.

Read the News Release

Facebook funds new truck for Food Rescue

group standing in front of truckJuly 1, 2019 - Facebook, in partnership with Flagship Facility Services, Inc., will fund a new food truck for Joint Venture's Food Rescue initiative, known as A La Carte, that has been picking up and distributing food from four of Facebook’s cafes and mini cafes since March. The new truck will increase the size of the fleet that "harvests" prepared food for people in the community who are food-insecure. Facebook has donated more than 22,000 meals through the program to date.

Learn more

Joint Venture partners with Adobe for people with disabilities

people chatting July 1, 2019 - Joint Venture's Silicon Valley Talent Partnership has paired a pro bono team of experts from Adobe to assist nonprofit Project HIRED to help people with disabilities find employment. Have a project that could use expert help?

Contact Joint Venture's SVTP for details.

Joint Venture board adds new members

July 1, 2019 – The Joint Venture board of directors elected two new members at their quarterly meeting: Supervisor Susan Ellenberg and Michael Isip, President and Chief Executive Officer of KQED. “We are delighted to add the expertise of Supervisor Susan Ellenberg and Michael Isip to the Joint Venture board,” said Russell Hancock, President & CEO of Joint Venture.

Read the news release

Meet Duffy Jennings

July 1, 2019 - Duffy Jennings first joined Joint Venture in 2008 as VP of Communications after enjoying a distinguished career as a corporate communications executive and journalist. He retired—or rewired?—from corporate life in February 2019 and, with the new release of his memoir, Reporter’s Note Book: A San Francisco Chronicle Journalist’s Diary of the Shocking Seventies, he added author to his list.

Read Duffy's profile

Silicon Valley Indicators

indicators home page Get comprehensive information and data about Silicon Valley’s economic and community health at

Data and charts from the Silicon Valley Index (and more) are available on a dynamic and interactive website that allows users to further explore Silicon Valley trends.

Download the 2019 Silicon Valley Index.

Investors Spotlight

Donors invest in Joint Venture with both general support and project-specific gifts that help us react nimbly to provide analysis and innovative solutions to issues that confront our regional economies and quality of life. Here are just a few of our many investors:

SiliconSage Builders logo Urban Catalyst logo Urban Community logo

Joint Venture offers a variety of support and sponsorship opportunities for individuals, corporations, and public sector organizations. To inquire about becoming a member of our Investors Council, call (408) 298-9330 or visit our Become an Investor page. To see our current investors, visit our investors pages.

What is Joint Venture Silicon Valley?

Established in 1993, Joint Venture brings together Silicon Valley’s established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues and work toward innovative solutions. In this short video see what Silicon Valley leaders have to say about the organization.

Will We Cross the ‘Climate Chasm’?

California’s leadership in climate policy and clean technology is well known. Yet achieving absolute reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions remains frighteningly difficult.

A just-released California Air Resources Board report shows statewide GHG emissions in 2012 were 1.6% lower than in 2000, and 7.5% higher than in 1990. State policy requires 80 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050. So we have a long way to go.

The good news is that the last few years have seen great advancements in the “smart energy” elements needed for success - renewable energy, energy efficiency, electrification of transportation and a more dynamic electric grid. Our challenge now is to knit these essential elements together, on a community-wide scale. Doing so will create new economic opportunities and dramatic reductions in GHG emissions.

While set in a different context, Geoffrey Moore’s seminal book, “Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers,” aptly describes the challenge communities face in deploying smart energy solutions on a broad commercial scale. Local policy, programs and forums must promote innovation and “early adopter” customers, as well as mechanisms for rapidly translating validated solutions to mainstream customers. Both public and private sectors have essential roles to play. This is the focus of the SEEDZ Initiative.

As always, we welcome your questions and feedback about SEEDZ.

Thanks for your interest!

Don Bray,
SEEDZ Executive Director

What's New In This Issue:

• Tesla CTO JB Straubel Headlines Silicon Valley SEEDZ Energy Storage Symposium
• Regulators Seeking Input on Storage Interconnection Issues
• New CASE-SV Program Provides Solar Assessments for Commercial Customers
• Community Renewables Programs Taking Shape in CPUC Rulemaking
• Destination Electric Vehicle Charging Center to be Built at Levi’s Stadium
• Joint Venture Climate Prosperity Program Wins Acterra Award

What's New

Tesla CTO Highlights Growing Focus on Stationary Storage

More than 160 regional energy industry leaders, government officials and other stakeholders filled the Microsoft auditorium in Mountain View on May 21 for Joint Venture’s fifth annual Silicon Valley/SEEDZ Energy Storage Symposium.

JB Straubel giving keynote at Energy Storage Symposium

The symposium engaged key stakeholders in the energy storage marketplace around the latest developments, challenges and opportunities for customer-side storage, and how Silicon Valley is advancing innovation and uptake in this critical emerging market. Featured energy storage experts came from a wide range of organizations, including Tesla, Strategen Consulting, PG&E, CAISO, CPUC, EnerVault, Primus Power, Green Charge Networks, Greensmith Energy Management Systems, CalCharge, InterContinental Hotels and McCalmont Engineering.

Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel delivered the keynote presentation. While better known as an automotive company, stationary storage now figures largely in Tesla’s growth plans. According to Straubel, "We are an energy innovation company as much as a car company." He noted that Tesla has become expert in mobile storage, and that stationary energy storage can be deployed utilizing similar architectures – and typically under simpler environmental conditions.

Tesla is planning to build a new “gigafactory” for lithium ion storage that would basically double the world’s current production capacity. Approximately 30% of this capacity would be reserved for stationary storage applications. Tesla is building 400 KWh battery packs, and has deployed five of these systems in a two MWh installation at the Fremont Tesla factory that manages ten percent of peak demand. They plan to expand this site soon, and are deploying battery packs at supercharger sites where peaky supercharger loads are mitigated by an on-site storage system.

Ultimately, Straubel believes that "we are not thinking big enough.” He sees increased density of renewables on the grid as a major driver for growth in stationary storage in the coming years, and a need for improved market mechanisms for storage-related grid services.

Watch JB Straubel’s Keynote Presentation

Regulators Seeking Input on Storage Interconnection Issues

Perhaps the timeliest topic at the Energy Storage Symposium was the discussion of distributed energy storage interconnection. Representatives from PG&E, the California Independent System Operator (ISO), and the California Public Utilities Commission conducted a spirited panel on the topic.

Interconnectin Panel

Currently there hundreds of applications for the state’s self-generation incentive program, but only a few systems have been connected to the grid. The experts lamented the “awkward” interconnection process applicable to these projects, noting that rule changes are needed to correct the “square peg – round hole” problem of energy storage interconnection. The ISO, PG&E and CPUC are working to remove these roadblocks by convening stakeholders and working to avoid duplication wherever possible.

For more information and to get involved in the CPUC’s open interconnection proceeding, click here.

New CASE-SV Program Provides Solar Assessments for Commercial Customers

The recently launched SEEDZ Commercial Acceleration of Solar Energy in Silicon Valley project (CASE-SV) aims to expand use of solar energy at commercial and industrial (C&I) facilities in Silicon Valley by bringing together leading corporations and municipalities in a community-based solar procurement program. The CASE-SV program provides free, objective support to qualifying C&I energy customers for solar site assessments, education on technical and financing options, streamlined procurement and contractual processes, and opportunities for local and national recognition.

Case bar graph

Key goals for CASE-SV over the next year are to expand use of commercial solar by at least 5 MW in Silicon Valley, and/or deploy solar at 10 commercial sites in the area. Procurement mechanisms include direct purchase or Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for onsite systems and purchase by direct access customers of solar energy produced remotely.

The CASE-SV project is a joint effort of SEEDZ and the American Solar Transformation Initiative led by Optony. To align the interests of C&I energy customers and municipal agencies in this effort, a working group of anchor C&I companies and leaders in the public sector has been organized. This group includes Kaiser Permanente, Google, and the cities of Fremont, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Mountain View.

For more information and to engage in the program, visit

Community Renewables Programs Take Shape in CPUC Rulemaking

At the California Public Utilities Commission, details of the state’s new Green Tariff Shared Renewables (GTSR) program are taking shape in a rulemaking process now scheduled to be complete in late October. Creation of the GTSR program was mandated in the passing of California Senate Bill 43 in September of 2013.

The GTSR program requires PG&E and other investor-owned utilities (IOUs) in the state to offer all residential and commercial customers the option of purchasing 100% renewable energy in lieu of the traditional utility power mix – currently about 22 percent from renewables. Renewable energy sold by the utility under the GTSR program will come from new renewable energy facilities located in the utility’s service territory, and will be incremental to the renewable portfolio standard. Cities will receive reports from the utility on aggregate GTSR purchases within their jurisdiction. Thus, promoting customer subscription to the GTSR represents an opportunity for cities looking to reduce GHG emissions from electric power.

Along the same lines, both public and private entities will now have an opportunity to sell renewable energy into the GTSR program. Development of shared renewables generation is being considered in several of our local communities. The exact process by which the IOUs will competitively procure GTSR power is still being ironed out, as are end customer GTSR rate structures. The SEEDZ project is following this rulemaking closely. The final details in the ruling will have a significant impact on the practical viability of IOU-enabled green power and community shared renewables for the foreseeable future – both on the buy and sell side.

Destination EV Charging Center to be Built at Levi’s Stadium

The California Energy Commission has selected a public-private group that includes the SEEDZ Initiative for award of a $469,000 grant to build a destination Electric Vehicle Charging Center at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

parking lot at Levi's Stadium

SEEDZ worked with the City of Santa Clara, EPRI, ChargePoint and MJR Electric in developing the successful proposal to fund and build an innovative 48-station EV charging center in the new Tasman Parking Garage, adjacent to the new Levi’s Stadium, the Santa Clara Convention Center and Great America theme park.

Collectively, these venues will attract more than 4.5 million visits a year, making it a high-value destination site for placement of EV charging infrastructure. The EV charging center will demonstrate new approaches for energy management and charging station utilization, and will serve as an example for creating similar destination-based charging centers around the state and beyond.

Joint Venture Climate Prosperity Program Wins Acterra Award

At the Acterra Business Environmental Awards Reception on Wednesday, May 28, Joint Venture’s Climate Prosperity Program was honored to win the 2014 Acterra Business Environmental Award in the Large Environmental Project category. The Climate Prosperity Program is comprised of three related initiatives – SEEDZ, the Public Sector Climate Task Force, and the Renewable Energy Procurement Projects (R-REP, SV-REP).

Case bar graph

The judging panel was impressed with the networked nature of the Climate Prosperity Program – how collaboration between and among public and private sector participants is leveraging time, effort and results. Congratulations to all organizations involved!

Learn more about Acterra.

The SEEDZ stakeholders meet regularly under the auspices of Joint Venture’s Climate Prosperity Council, co-chaired by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Accenture Institute Executive Research Fellow Chris DiGiorgio. The council includes representatives from Google, EPRI, NetApp, Optony, PG&E, NASA Ames Research Center, Integral Group, Juniper Networks, Accenture, McCalmont Engineering, Microsoft, the Cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale, and other leading Silicon Valley organizations.

Visit for more information.

How are we defining Smart Energy?

An integrated portfolio of new practices, standards and technologies for improved performance and sustainability in the generation, distribution and use of energy throughout the community.

For more information about SEEDZ, please contact:

Don Bray

Executive Director, SEEDZ
(408) 298-9338

Or visit us on the web at

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Joint Venture Silicon Valley provides analysis and action on issues affecting our region's economy and quality of life.

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In The News

July 17, 2019 - (KPIX TV-5) - Elon Musk Developing AI-Connected Brain Implant To ‘Secure Humanity’s Future’: Joint Venture Silicon Valley CEO Russ Hancock believes if anyone can merge human beings with artificial intelligence, it would be Musk. More

July 16, 2019 - (Energy Pages) - Rise of Energy Choice Diminishes PG&E’s Silicon Valley Market Share:Silicon Valley residents have greater access to cleaner energy compared to the rest of California and the rest of the country, says The Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. More

July 10, 2019 - (American City & County) - Small cells, big uncertainties: “The FCC’s approach is a pretty blanket approach. And it may not account for all of the nuances of local government..." notes David Witkowski, executive director of civic technology initiatives at Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

July 8, 2019 - (Mercury News) - Exodus: For Bay Area millennials, moving up means moving out: In 2017, roughly 36 percent of Silicon Valley adults between the ages of 18 and 34 lived with their parents, according to an analysis by Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

July 5, 2019(KPIX-TV5) - New Numbers Show Silicon Valley Tech Jobs Are Moving North: "The workforce is young," says Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock.  More

June 29, 2019 - (Mercury News) - Pizarro: Literary Send-Off - Joint Venture Silicon Valley CEO Russell Hancock and his wife, Marguerite Hancock, hosted a reception to bid farewell to Duffy Jennings, who served as Joint Venture’s communications director for the past 11 years. More

June 26, 2019 - (Michigan Daily) - KLA opens temporary R&D site in Ann Arbor:According to Curbed San Francisco, a recent census done by Joint Venture Silicon Valley discovered the median home sale price for a house is $1.2 million. More

June 26, 2019 - (The Almanac) - Manzanita Talks move forward: Efforts to bring together public and private sector leaders to talk about how to address regional transportation problems moved forward on June 13 with what Joint Venture Silicon Valley President and CEO Russell Hancock called a historic discussion. More

June 25, 2019 - (KQED News) - Stanford Wants to Expand: Russell Hancock, a Stanford lecturer and also president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, said, "It's always baffling to me when the neighbors vilify Stanford. This is a world class institution. There would be no Silicon Valley without Stanford." More

June 19, 2019 - (NPR News) - Google Pledges $1 Billion For Affordable Housing: We are seeing an increase in the people that are living in RVs or other temporary shelters," said Rachel Massaro, director of research for Joint Venture. More

June 18 - (KQED News) - Google Pledges $1 Billion to Help Fight Bay Area Housing Crisis It Helped Create: Joint Venture reported that affordable housing units represented only a small share of recently approved units in Silicon Valley.   More

June 18, 2019 - (Mercury News) - Californians sharply divided over how to tackle housing shortage: Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, believes Bay Area residents have become more open to new solutions to the housing shortage in the last five years. More

June 18, 2019 - (Mercury News) - With SUV ads and snark, desert city looks to woo Bay Area residents: According to a study by the regional think-tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the region gained about 62,000 foreign-born residents between July 2015 and July 2018, while 64,300 residents left. More

June 14, 2019 - (AJOT) -Commute times across Silicon Valley have increased by 17% over the past decade, adding an average of 43 minutes weekly per commuter, according to the 2018 Silicon Valley Index by Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

June 12, 2019 - (Los Altos Town Crier) - Food truck puts corporate leftovers to community good: Silicon Valley Food Rescue operates as a project of Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More