Summer is here and the Climate Resolve team is excited to see our Los Angeles Dodgers are off to a great start in first place. We’re also thrilled to tell you about our partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, and FivePoint to provide free PV solar and an EV charging station to the latest Dodgers Dreamfields project at Gonzales Park, including Jackie Robinson Baseball Stadium, in the City of Compton.
It’s becoming increasingly common for large public companies to signal a commitment to climate action by setting net zero greenhouse gas emissions targets. However, some of these firms are seeking to offset their emissions with the purchase of cheap carbon credits, available on publicly-traded markets. These offsets can be of questionable provenance and may not reduce emissions as advertised.
Rather than support opaque carbon markets, Climate Resolve believes that companies should fund, develop, and donate greenhouse gas reduction projects that primarily benefit local communities, especially residents of low-income communities. Local climate mitigation projects are best, and should use offset project registries that have been endorsed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
Climate Resolve is working with partners to develop and implement local climate mitigation projects located in low-income communities in Los Angeles County.
One project deserves special mention; we’re thrilled to announce the completion of our largest carbon credit project, a 276 kW photovoltaic (PV) solar installation and public electric vehicle (EV) charging station adjacent to Jackie Robinson Baseball Stadium at Gonzales Park in the City of Compton. The PV carports and rooftop solar arrays will save the City more than $1,000,000 in power costs over 25 years. It’s a home run.
“Climate Resolve is thrilled to have worked with its partners to originate, develop, and implement this renewable power project that will provide multiple benefits to Compton’s community,” said Seth Jacobson, Managing Director of Solutions Services at Climate Resolve, “Our team also feels deeply grateful to be part of a project that contributes to honoring the legacy of Jackie Robinson for future generations.”
Climate Resolve started developing this project in February 2019 when we learned that the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) was planning to renovate Gonzales Park, including Jackie Robinson Stadium, as part of its Dodgers Dreamfields program. Through its Dodgers Dreamfields program, LADF builds and refurbishes baseball and softball fields in local underserved communities. The Compton project is LADF’s largest Dodgers Dreamfields investment to date.
During a site visit of Gonzales Park, Climate Resolve asked the City’s Parks & Recreation Department if there were plans for solar with the Dodgers Dreamfields project. There weren’t any plans, but the question piqued their interest, so our team reached out to our colleagues on LADF’s Board and executive leadership, and we pitched them the idea. LADF had never included PV with a Dodgers Dreamfield project and was excited for the opportunity to offer free, renewable power to the community.
“LADF is renowned for their impactful work in communities throughout Southern California,” said Jonathan Parfrey, Executive Director of Climate Resolve. “We believe that local professional sports organizations, like the Los Angeles Dodgers, can be key partners in fighting climate change and fostering more resilient communities.”
With a pro bono solar assessment of the site from our generous friends at EDF Renewables, Climate Resolve then presented the opportunity to our partners at FivePoint, an owner and developer of large mixed-use communities in California.
As part of a CARB-approved program to offset its development-related operational emissions, FivePoint had asked Climate Resolve to identify potential greenhouse gas reduction projects that would benefit residents of low-income communities in Los Angeles County. The company is using its direct investment in these projects as part of a larger commitment to sustainability at Valencia, a new FivePoint community in northwest Los Angeles County. Through a series of onsite and offsite initiatives, the 15,000-acre development is poised to become one of the largest planned communities in the nation to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its construction and operations.
After approving the idea, FivePoint asked Climate Resolve to reach out to local PV installers and manage a Request for Proposal bidding process, which GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles (GRID GLA) won.
Then COVID hit. Amid the devastating impacts and delays associated with the pandemic, GRID GLA, LADF, and Climate Resolve continued to work with the City of Compton to manage the installation of the project. GRID GLA installed rooftop PV arrays on both the park’s community center and an adjacent City fire station. They also constructed PV carports that shade the parking lot next to Jackie Robinson Stadium and house six public EV charging ports.
Today kids are playing baseball and softball on the Gonzales Park Dodgers Dreamfields. Southern California Edison (SCE) will soon interconnect the PV project with its grid. And Climate Resolve is managing the credit confirmation process for the PV project with the Climate Action Reserve.
“We couldn’t imagine working with better partners during this difficult time,” said Thelma Briseno, Senior Director of Energy & Water Programs for Climate Resolve. “Our project team was mission-driven to ensure that the Dodgers Dreamfields, PV arrays, and EV charging station were completed, and that the community could enjoy the many benefits of this impactful project.”
Part of our excitement to work with LADF is that Dodgers Dreamfields projects bring multiple benefits to communities, including a “Science of Baseball” STEM education program for local youth. With that in mind, Climate Resolve identified and helped LADF win a grant from SCE to enhance the STEM curriculum with climate-related education at Gonzales Park. LADF, GRID GLA, and Climate Resolve envision these Dodgers Dreamfields as an outdoor learning laboratory, where kids can apply STEM lessons within the park’s community spaces, including the PV arrays and EV chargers.
In addition to the significant power cost savings for the City and the climate education program for local youth, another project benefit is that GRID GLA and the Office of former City Councilmember Michelle Chambers viewed the PV installation as a workforce development opportunity to train six Compton residents to become solar installers. These residents are launching new careers that offer well-paying jobs in the emerging cleantech economy.
Rather than purchase dubious offsets on the global market, Climate Resolve believes that companies should fund and donate carbon credit projects in local underserved communities. These projects do more than just help companies to achieve their net zero targets. They mitigate the risk of purchasing questionable offsets on the global market. They are also likely to increase a company’s Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) rating, goodwill, and reputation with investors, policymakers, customers, and other stakeholders. One could say this strategy touches all the bases.
If you would like to partner with Climate Resolve to develop local carbon credit projects, please contact Seth Jacobson at firstname.lastname@example.org.