Developing a Feasibility Study for Community Choice Aggregation Renewable Energy Options

Arlington, Virginia

Featured image for the project, Developing a Feasibility Study for Community Choice Aggregation Renewable Energy Options


The project’s goal is to carry out a feasibility study for the creation of a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program to provide options for the residents and businesses of Arlington, outside the incumbent electric utility, to choose their rate plans and energy sources. Arlington was chosen due to its transformative Community Energy Plan, though Arlington is not an official partner of this effort. This project will be accomplished through a study on CCA options to explore how Arlington could procure, generate and competitively fund renewable energy projects and inform policymakers and ratepayers of opportunities for renewable energy generation. The options to use of solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal energy in buildings has become increasingly cost-effective over time and aids in energy resilience to peak load events at the macro level when coupled with advanced energy storage. This project will align with Arlington County’s commitment to climate action and stand in accordance with the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, and may serve as a demonstration model for similarly-urbanized communities or those with comparable energy use patterns and volumes.

About the Community

Arlington, VA is an urban county of about 26 square miles directly across the Potomac river from Washington, DC without any incorporated towns or cities. As of January 1, 2018, Arlington had an estimated population of 225,200, reflecting an increase of 8.5% since 2010. In 2006 CNN money ranked Arlington as the most educated city in 2006 with 35.7% of residents having held graduate degrees. The county is governed by a five-person County Board; members are elected at-large on staggered four-year terms. The Board appoints a County Manager, who is the chief executive of the County Government.



The scientists will work in hand with Virginia Clean Energy lead by local residents Silvia Zinetti and Morris Meyer. Virginia Clean Energy is a new nonprofit fiscally sponsored by LEAN Energy US, a 501 (c)(3) organization based in California.


Silvia Zinetti is a sustainable energy expert and has worked on several international projects on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Among others, she specializes in alternative business models for counties, cities and local governments wishing to shift towards more sustainable energy, and achieve efficiency, resiliency, and sustainability. Silvia recently obtained the title of Certified Energy Procurement Professional (CEP) with the Association of Energy Engineers, and a professional certificate on Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies from Stanford University. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focusing on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency from the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin. Silvia is co-founder and President of Virginia C lean Energy, a new nonprofit organization, whose mission is to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency via Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in Virginia.


Morris Meyer is the senior systems architect at Wärtsilä-Greensmith and has designed and commissioned hybrid solar with storage system for Tucson Electric Power and the nation’s reference energy storage research platform for EPRI at LGE-KU in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Morris has worked for Steve Jobs at NeXT and with Marconi Award winner Paul Baran at Com21. He recently earned a Master in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems from Penn State, and holds a Bachelor’s in Computer and Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. Morris is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Virginia Clean Energy.

Scientist Wanted

Silvia and Morris seek a scientific partner to help Virginia Clean Energy with:

  • data analysis, visualization, and interpretation for the implementation of a technical study to incorporate renewable energy into the electricity market with a CCA.
  • resulting price structures and GHG reduction scenarios of various energy combinations.
  • Preparation and development of the findings for local conferences and County board meetings.


The community is looking forward to working with an energy engineer or energy economist and enthusiastic graduate student assistants with an interdisciplinary mindset. A similar project was carried out in Hermosa Beach, CA.


Desired Skills and Expertise

  • Ability to identify and evaluate scientific research to find the pieces most relevant to the project goals
  • Ability to translate scientific knowledge to local officials and/or community members
  • Experience and willingness to develop deliverables that meet community needs and/or allow local solutions to be adapted by other communities. This will be in addition to any scientific products.
  • Commitment to regular meetings to revisit progress and plan steps
  • Ability to operate effectively in environments where science is not the only factor, and often not even the leading factor, in decision making
  • Open to new ideas and able to respect diverse viewpoints and priorities
  • Strong listening and communication skills
  • Competent and open to new ideas
  • Relaxed, easy going personality with a good sense of humor



The collaboration should start as soon as February 2019 with a goal to provide an initial report within six to seven months for the National Clean Energy week conference in September.