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What's Happening Now

Meet John Boland, KQED Public Media

John Boland speaking at graduationEvery leader aspires to leave a legacy of success. John Boland, a member of the board of directors at Joint Venture Silicon Valley, has done just that at KQED. At a time when most regional news entities are struggling, Boland catapulted KQED from a traditional public broadcast outlet into a multimedia stronghold. The eldest of 12 and a college dropout, Boland served as President and CEO of KQED through March 2019, and is now president emeritus. 

Read the profile

CBS News: San Jose has highest-paid workers

video image May 20, 2019 - Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock says, "it's no surprise," when interviewed by CBS News on a new report that says the nation's highest paid workers are in San Jose. With an average annual median income of $117,000, “our numbers are skewed by people who are making obscene amounts of money. Silicon Valley is a place that has 50 billionaires,” Hancock said. “We’re spiraling upwards in terms of our costs, our housing, for everything,” Hancock said. “You see those costs rising faster than anywhere in the country. And it’s because the market can bear it.”

Watch the news clip

Russell Hancock on Tesla stock plunge

video image

May 20, 2019 - Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture, was interviewed by CBS News when one Wall Street analyst issued a “code red” on Tesla for not meeting internal production goals and getting distracted in side ventures. Hancock says “I think shareholders are saying this product that is world changing, maybe now we need some adult supervision–doing the things that Detroit has done for a very long time.”

Watch the news clip

Institute Report: space under construction rivals dot com boom

black and white report cover May 3, 2019 – Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Institute for Regional Studies has released its Q1 2019 report on Silicon Valley commercial space. The report shows that activity is brisk and demand is high, especially for commercial space located near public transit. Office vacancy rates – which were relatively high between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018 due – fell significantly in Q1 2019 to 13.4%.

Learn more | Read news release

Data Release: Silicon Valley sets pace for electric vehicle adoption 

Electric car May 15, 2019 - The Joint Venture Institute for Regional Studies today reported that Silicon Valley’s total number of registered electric vehicles (EVs) surpassed 80,000 in 2018, comprising nearly 20% of all such vehicles in California, and by far the highest numbers of any region per capita. Learn more

Joint Venture Food Rescue hits new milestone

150K pounds of food & 80K meals in 6 months

May 13, 2019 - Joint Venture’s food rescue initiative, A La Carte, has collected more than 150,000 pounds of prepared surplus food from universities and corporate food services...more than 80,000 meals for people who are food insecure. This spring A La Carte will purchase an additional truck. John A. Sobrato, Chairman Emeritus of Sobrato Development Companies, Sobrato Philanthropies, and a current member of Joint Venture’s board of directors, has donated $125,000 to the effort.

Learn more

Silicon Valley Indicators

indicators home page Did you know you can get comprehensive information and data about the economic and community health of Silicon Valley any time by visiting the online home of the Silicon Valley Index at

The site is maintained and constantly updated by Joint Venture's Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies and is a robust collection of charts and information with links to local, regional and national data sources, and resources for additional information within each of the indicator categories: People, Economy, Society, Place and Governance.

Download the 2019 Silicon Valley Index.

Investors Council Spotlight

Joint Venture's Investors Council welcomes dozens of public and private organizations and foundations supporting our initiatives and programs. Here are just a few of our many investors:

Crew SV logo Eastdil Secured logo University of California - Santa Cruz 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

May 23, 2019 - (Curbed San Francisco)Joint Venture Silicon Valley released its annual Silicon Valley Index and reported “for the third year in a row, people are moving out of Silicon Valley nearly as quickly as they are moving in.” More

May 20, 2019 - (CBS San Francisco) - Tesla Stock Plunges: for Russell Hancock, the president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the issue is the assembly line. More

May 20, 2019 - (CBS San Francisco) -New Report Shows San Jose Has Nation’s Highest-Paid Workers:“It’s no surprise,” said Russell Hancock, the CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley More

May 16, 2019 - (IWCE's Urgent Communications) -Jeff Lewis, director of the smart-region initiative for Joint Venture Silicon Valley, outlines the benefits that government entities can realize by coordinating communications initiatives More

May 16, 2019 - (Mercury News) - The Gary Dillabough Effect: Transforming downtown San Jose, 20 buildings at a time: Joint Venture board member Gary Dillabough profiled. More

May 10, 2019 - (Mercury News) - Bay Area wage growth slowing, but still among best in the nation: Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, said he’s still bullish about the regional economy. More

May 8, 2019 - (San Jose Spotlight) - Tech leader Matt Mahan jumps into San Jose council race: serves as a board member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Joint Venture Silicon Valley More

May 3, 2019 - (Silicon Valley Business Journal) -Silicon Valley real estate showed strength in the first quarter of the year with strong commercial demand, especially for space close to public transit, Joint Venture Silicon Valley reported... More

May 1, 2019 - (The Registry) - SiliconSage Homes CEO Sanjeev Acharya Joins the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Board of Directors More

April 25, 2019 - (Mercury News) - New Bay Area crown: Most expensive place in the world to build; “Another dubious award for the Bay Area,” said Russell Hancock, CEO of the non-partisan, regional think-tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

April 22, 2019 - (Mercury News) - Bay Area paradox: We need housing, but we don’t want to build faster:  a recent study by Joint Venture Silicon Valley estimated the region is short as many as 108,000 homes and apartments. More

April 20, 2019 - (The Almanac) -Midpeninsula mayors, tech company transportation leaders convene to talk traffic: They were there to launch the "Manzanita Talks," a series of discussions convened by Joint Venture Silicon Valley More

April 16, 2019 - (KPIX 5) - Lawsuit Claims Apple Misled Hundreds Of Thousands Of Investors: “This is new territory for Apple,” said President and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley Russ Hancock. More

April 12, 2019 - (Silicon Valley Business Journal) - Silicon Valley's 2019 Women of Influence award winners: Rachel Massaro, Vice President and Director of Research at Joint Venture Silicon Valley and Director of Research for the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. More

April 9, 2019 - (City Journal) - This year, Harris keynoted the Joint Venture Silicon Valley conference, and she is once again reaping large donations from tech and media giants. More