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What's Happening Now

Knight Foundation invests in Joint Venture project

Knight Foundation logo and JVSV logoAugust 10, 2020 - The Knight Foundation has entrusted funds to SVTP and the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits (SVCN) to create a responsive program for local non-profits struggling to raise funds and deliver services amid conditions none of them could have anticipated. Fueled by Knight’s donor-advised funds at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, part of their commitment to Silicon Valley Strong, the project will enable participating non-profits to host focus groups, conduct surveys, and test potential solutions, with the help of pro bono experts in market research. SVTP and SVCN will utilize these findings to develop a responsive model of support that offers a diverse network of support to our region’s nonprofit organizations over the coming years of recovery.

To volunteer, or suggest projects, contact Ashley Raggio.

Joint Venture weighs in on 5G

IEEE podcastAugust 10, 2020 - David Witkowski, executive director of Joint Venture's Civic Technologies Initiative will moderate a panel of wireless industry veterans on the challenges in 5G deployment including public pushback, policy, and public vs. private options, and offer some possible solutions. 5G, the fifth generation of wireless technology, promises improved performance of mobile broadband for consumer devices such as smartphones. The podcast is the second in a series, produced by the IEEE a global organization of professional engineers.

Subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify

Listen to the podcast

Twilio names Joint Venture a Community Hero

Joint Venture: Community Hero: 450 meals delivered by the Food Recovery initiativeAugust 10, 2020 - Joint Venture has been recognized as a Community Hero by Twilio, a cloud-based communications company based in San Francisco. “During these challenging times brought on by the global pandemic and the continued fight for racial justice, we want to highlight the incredible organizations doing amazing work to help people during this time of crisis,” said Twilio’s announcement.

Twilio will publicly recognize Joint Venture’s Food Recovery and Civic Technologies initiatives for their activities during the pandemic.

Talent Partnership empowers students with online learning

photo of someone typing on laptop with book next to themAugust 7, 2020 - Joint Venture’s Silicon Valley Talent Partnership's (SVTP) pro bono volunteers are assisting students at the College of Adaptive Arts (CAA) with distance learning. CAA, a nonprofit that offers a collegiate experience to adults with special needs, has shifted all of its courses to Zoom since the lockdown. SVTP has matched skilled volunteers to help coach CAA students through this new method of learning. “Classes have been a true blessing for the students, their families, & the CAA staff,” said DeAnna Pursai, executive director of CAA. “The students feel so proud to be able to showcase their abilities and what they are capable of contributing through their classes.”

To volunteer, or suggest projects, contact Ashley Raggio.

PROFILE: Gary Dillabough - urban visionary

Photo courtesy of Silicon Valley Business Journal

August 10, 2020 - Mention the name Gary Dillabough in Silicon Valley circles, social or professional, and people listen. Dillabough, a former eBay vice president and venture capitalist, created the development firm Urban Community with longtime Silicon Valley builder Jeff Arrillaga in 2017. As front-man for the organization, Dillabough has gained a reputation for not just getting things done, but getting things done well.

Baltimore-born Dillabough has served on the Joint Venture board of directors since 2019.

Read Gary's profile

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:

Greenwaste/Zanker logo Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center logo city of Burlingame 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

August 7, 2020 - (Crosscut Podcast) - What regulation of Big Tech might look like: UW historian [and Joint Venture Distinguished Fellow] Margaret O’Mara draws on America’s history of trustbusting to explore what Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple might be facing. More

July 31, 2020 - (San Jose Spotlight) - Lopez: New initiative promises improved educational outcomes for East San Jose residents - only 18% of Latinos 25 years and older in Silicon Valley hold a bachelor’s degree compared to whites at 62%, according to the2019 Silicon Valley Index of Joint Venture Silicon Valley. More

July 31, 2020 - (The Stanford Daily) - Off site, out of mind? How embracing remote work might change Silicon Valley: A recent report by the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies stated that, “[in recent years] traffic has become an increasingly troublesome issue affecting quality of life in Silicon Valley. More

July 29, 2020 - (CBS/KPIX-TV) - CEOs Of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google Face Tough Questions In House Judiciary Antitrust Antitrust Probe “All of them will get out their violins and play a really sad song,” said president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley Russell Hancock. More

July 28, 2020 - (Yahoo News) - How the Tech Sector Is Holding Up During the Crisis: Russell Hancock, president and chief executive officer at Joint Venture Silicon Valley, discusses what a stimulus plan being debated in Washington will mean for the tech industry, especially startups on "Bloomberg Technology." More

July 27, 2020 - (Bloomberg TV) - How the Tech Sector Is Holding Up During the Crisis:  Russell Hancock, president and chief executive officer at Joint Venture Silicon Valley, discusses what a stimulus plan being debated in Washington will mean for the tech industry More 

July 25, 2020 - (San Jose Inside) - Valley Fair Launches New Open-Air Market in San Jose: “Silicon Valley’s tech workers, for the most part, had a smooth transition to remote work and have kept their jobs,” said Russell Hancock, president and CEO of the South Bay think-tank. More 

July 24, 2020 - (Mercury News) - Opinion: We need Silicon Valley leadership, now more than ever - Regionally, we have some gems, like American Leadership Forum (full disclosure, I am ALF’s former CEO and a senior fellow), PACT and Joint Venture. More

July 22, 2020 - (Silicon Valley Business Journal) - Is funding and reforming Caltrain quickly too big a lift? Russell Hancock of Joint Venture Silicon Valley agreed that getting so many boards to agree on a governance proposal would be “difficult to pull off.” More

July 22, 2020 - (Silicon Valley Voice) - 2020 Election: Santa Clara City Council Candidates - Bhatia serves as: deputy board member at Joint Venture Silicon Valley More