Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Gov. Jerry Brown has emerged from his hiking trip in the Sierra to kick off a two-day conference in Los Angeles on renewable energy.

The conference will explore how California's public and private sectors can rev up local energy generation to meet Brown's green-jobs goal of onsite or small systems producing 12,000 megawatts by the end of the decade. Alert readers will recall that Brown signed Senate Bill X1 2 last April requiring that one-third of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by Dec. 31, 2020.

The idea behind local energy generation is to put small systems close to where the energy gets used so that the environmental impact is minimized and new transmission lines aren't required. Think rooftop solar, for instance.

Participation is by invitation. Brown will welcome attendees at 9 a.m., then take part in a panel moderated by Steve Clemons, the editor-in-chief of AtlanticLIVE and Washington editor-at-large for The Atlantic magazine.

Other panel participants include David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy, headquartered in Princeton, N.J.; Rick Needham, the director of Google's green business operations; and Lyndon Rive, the chief operating officer of San Mateo-based SolarCity.

The governor's panel, which starts at 9:30 a.m., will be carried live on The Atlantic's website. Learn more about the conference at this link, and check out the list of attendees here.

Meanwhile, the governor is jumping into a court case challenging a large solar energy project in the Mojave Desert.

Brown announced last Friday that he has filed what's known as an amicus brief asking a federal judge to deny a request to halt completion of the Ivanpah project, which his office says will create as many as 1,000 construction jobs and produce enough energy to power 140,000 homes.

Click here to read the 14-page brief, which argues that stopping the project "is not in the public interest."



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