Oakmont Aims for Self-Sufficiency During Future Power Outages

“Oakmont is going Solar in a big way.”

That was the message delivered by Steve Spanier, president of the Oakmont Village Association board of directors, at the Dec. 17 board meeting at Berger Center.

Spanier said changes in the works, “will, we hope and believe” provide power to Oakmont offices, businesses and homes even when power is off all around Oakmont.

He said the OVA has forged partnerships with key players in the solar field “by convincing them Oakmont is a perfect test bed for state-of-the-art self-sufficiency pilot projects”.

Spanier said Sonoma Clean Power, the Electric Power Research Institute, PG&E and city, county and state entities are donating time, resources, energy and, in some cases, money to help Oakmont improve its situation.

In executive session, the board gave a green to light General Manager Kevin Hubred to finalize a contract to install a solar panel system in the parking lots of East Rec, West Rec, and the Berger and CAC complex. The board vote directed Hubred to work with the Solar subcommittee to select a contractor by the end of the year. The canopy-mounted solar panel system would be purchased under a Power Purchase Agreement with no up-front payment by the OVA. Instead, OVA would make a regular payment to the financing company which is equal to or less than it would have paid for the utilities. Smith said the subcommittee is seeking outside funding for the Berger/CAC generator and for a generator at the East Rec Center.

At the same time, the Solar Subcommittee is continuing to research the installation of a of a dual-fuel generator to power the Berger/Central Activities Center complex and the OVA offices. The projected $200,000 cost is included in the 2020 capital budget approved by the Budget Committee.

While completion of OVA’s purchase of the golf course has been put off until early next year, Spanier said a “small freshening” of the Quail Inn should be done by Spring. In addition, Advanced Golf Partners, which will operate the golf courses, and OVA will be designing and possibly executing more extensive renovation projects.

“Still,” Spanier said, “I expect 2020 will be a difficult year for the club. Uncertainties surrounding club ownership and operations will detract from event bookings, so golf tournament and wedding revenue will be down. Golf revenue before April will be non-existent. Golf revenue beyond March is a question mark.”

Association manager Kevin Hubred said OVA has submitted a grant proposal to Cal Fire seeking $986,000 for removal of trees, ladder fuels and vegetation on OVA communal lands and in critical at-risk sub associations. He said the strategy is to prevent fires from crossing Highway 12 into Oakmont from the north and from the south out of Trione-Annadel Park.