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Manzanita Works Conference: Closing Gaps for a Thriving Bay Area Workforce

manzanita shrubFebruary 20, 2020 - As part of Joint Venture’s mission to tackle regional issues, we are co-sponsoring the Manzanita Works conference on March 20 in San Francisco. A panel of experts will examine some of the toughest issues such as education, housing, and transportation and arm attendees with ideas for action. Manzanita Works evolved from Manzanita Talks, convened by Joint Venture in partnership with the Bay Area Council to explore the logic and desirability of cross-sector collaboration to address regional traffic mitigation.

Learn more | Register

Capacity Crowd Gathers for State of the Valley

crowdDan Rather, others take aim at Valley challenges

February 18, 2020 - More than 1,300 people packed the McEnery Convention Center February 14 for the annual State of the Valley conference for a day spent discussing Silicon Valley's challenges and opportunities. The dialogue was rooted in the data contained in the 2020 edition of the Silicon Valley Index, streamlined into a 45-minute briefing by Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock. After hearing from urban designers, economic historians and from leading tech companies, news icon Dan Rather wrapped the conference. "The world has serious problems," Mr. Rather said, "and the technology of Silicon Valley can and will be a solution."

Read news accounts of the conference under the "In The News" section in the left sidebar of our home page.

2020 Silicon Valley Index: Continued Expansion, Mounting Challenges

Index coverFebruary 12, 2020 -Silicon Valley added more jobs, new levels of productivity, VC megadeals, and record amounts of commercial space last year according to the 2020 Silicon Valley Index, released by Joint Venture’s Institute for Regional Studies. The new edition shows that Silicon Valley continues its upward spiral with employment growth, eye-popping land transactions, and venture capital flowing into record numbers of megadeals. The latest Index also shows that conditions are harsh for the broad peripheries of the population as inequality reaches new dimensions.

Read the release | Download the Index

Dan Rather Delivers Keynote at State of the Valley

February 14, 2020 - News icon Dan Rather provided the keynote at Joint Venture’s 2020 State of the Valley conference February 14 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Mr. Rather delivered insight and perspective about how the Valley is shaping national dialogue. After his keynote, Mr. Rather shared the stage with Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock for a fireside-style chat. The packed house thanked the journalist with a standing ovation. Watch this space for the complete session in an upcoming video. 

Read his bio

Silicon Valley Indicators

indicators home page Comprehensive information and data about the Silicon Valley ecosystem is always available at

Data and charts from the Silicon Valley Index (and more) are presented on an interactive website that allows users to explore Silicon Valley trends. Indicators are presented by the Institute for Regional Studies. Housed within Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the Institute provides data and analysis on issues facing dense metropolitan regions.

Investors Spotlight

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

CreaTV San Jose logo Gavilan College logo Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority 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.

© 2013 Joint Venture Silicon Valley |

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In The News

February 20, 2020 - (Silicon Valley Business Journal) - The Inflection Election: Russell Hancock, CEO of the nonprofit think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley, sees some of the “techlash” as an inevitable result of the dominance of the region’s tech giants. More

February 18, 2020 - (IEEE Spectrum) - What’s in Store for 5G This Year: “Later this year could see the deployment of 5G-enhanced mobile broadband networks for portable devices used in malls, convention centers, and sports arenas, says David Witkowski, executive director of the Wireless Communications Initiative at the nonprofit Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

February 15, 2020 - ( - A Silicon Valley Life Lesson: Money that ‘Clumps’ Crushes - Housing costs in Silicon Valley, the Institute for Regional Studies report notes, “remain the highest in the nation.” More

February 15, 2020 - (Opinion-Russian publication) - Are you planning to move to Silicon Valley? ...[per] Joint Venture Silicon Valley, for the third year in a row more people leave the region than come. More

February 15, 2020 - (Mercury News) - State of the Valley is looking good — but not for everyone: The State of the Valley conference, Joint Venture’s annual “town hall” meeting on Friday had plenty of the usual superlatives about the positive aspects of life in Silicon Valley. More

February 15, 2020 - (San Jose Spotlight) - Silicon Valley leaders highlight growing inequality during annual State of the Valley: During the annual State of the Valley conference on Friday, top Silicon Valley leaders highlighted how the gap between rich and poor is widening in the region... more

February 14, 2020 - (Protocol) - Dan Rather in Silicon Valley: ‘These pipelines have wreaked havoc’ - Rather, the former CBS News anchor, told the audience during his keynote address at the State of the Valley conference in San Jose. More

February 14, 2020 - (Silicon Valley Business Journal) - From the editor: A 'tenuous' take on Silicon Valley's state of play -In a document as rich as the annual Silicon Valley Index, with its multiple charts and graphs detailing the local economy, there’s one page that I always look to as a barometer — Russell Hancocks “about the index”...More

February 13, 2020 - (Hayvine) - Tech Becomes The Highest Economic Generator In Silicon Valley:The tech industry has generated almost half of the jobs in the Valley for two consecutive years, and Russell Hancock, President of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, said... More

February 13, 2020 - (Planetzen) -Tech Buses: Not Just for Techies, and Not Just for San Francisco:"That just tells you the story of the Bay Area," said Russell Hancock, president and CEO of regional think tank Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

February 13, 2020 - (NBC Bay Area) - Income Gap Widens in Silicon Valley: Report: The latest figures from Joint Venture Silicon Valley show a widening gap between the haves and have-nots in the Bay Area. More

February 13, 2020 - (World Journal) - Silicon Valley annual index 13% Silicon Valley population holds 75% of wealth: Joint Venture Silicon Valley announced the 2020 Silicon Valley Annual Index on the 12th. More

February 12, 2020 - (San Jose Spotlight) - Business booms as inequality grows in Silicon Valley, report finds: The problem tends to be worse for those who have less money, said Rachel Massaro, vice president and director of research for the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. More

February 12, 2020 - (Palo Alto Online) - Income inequality reaches a 'historic high' in Silicon Valley, new report shows: The Silicon Valley Index, an annual overview of the region's economic and demographical trends, highlights some of the region's most notable trends of 2019. More

February 12, 2020 - (ABC7) - Some Silicon Valley residents under financial stress with growing tech economy: "We have very high earners, and they are thriving, and they're building out the tech sector. But the rest of us are in those stagnating quadrants of the economy," said Dr. Russell Hancock, Joint Venture Silicon Valley CEO. More

February 12, 2020 - (Mountain View Voice) - Income inequality reaches a 'historic high' in Silicon Valley, new report shows: The Silicon Valley Index, an annual overview of the region's economic and demographical trends, highlights some of the region's most notable trends of 2019. More

February 12, 2020 - (CNET) - Silicon Valley continues losing people as costs rise, report says:There have been 821,000 new jobs created in the Bay Area since the recession, but only 173,000 new housing units, said Russell Hancock, Joint Venture CEO and president Russell Hancock. More

February 12, 2020 - (Silicon Valley Business Journal) - Red flags emerge for booming Silicon Valley economy:The latest edition of the Silicon Valley Index, the annual overview of the region’s economic and social wellbeing, reveals both an economy that’s starting to slow down as well as a society that’s being stretched and stressed. More

February 12, 2020 - (Mercury News) - Tech becomes bigger economic engine for Silicon Valley, Bay Area: new report:Over the 12 months that ended in mid-2019, Silicon Valley added about 29,000 jobs, the 2020 Silicon Valley Index report determined. More

February 12, 2020 - (Protocol) -For the third consecutive year, Silicon Valley saw more people leave than come in."The granularity of migration data in this year's Index is eye-opening – we're essentially turning over our population by nearly 5% every year, with the influx of foreign immigrants increasing our region's diversity and tech talent base," said Rachel Massaro, Joint Venture vice president and director of research. More