David Hochschild Appointed as New Chair of the California Energy Commission

Feb. 16, 2019
California Gov. Gavin Newsom this week appointed former solar energy executive David Hochschild as new chair of the California Energy Commission.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom this week appointed David Hochschild, a former solar energy executive and current commissioner, as new chair of the California Energy Commission.

Hochschild replaces Robert Weisenmiller who plans to resign on February 21, after eight years as chair during the tenure of former Gov. Jerry Brown.

Before joining the energy commission in 2013, Hochschild was vice president of external affairs at Solaria for six years. The Berkeley resident also served as executive director at PV Now from 2005 to 2007 and co-founded the Vote Solar Initiative, where he served as director of policy from 2002 to 2005.

Hochschild was special assistant to San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown from 2000 to 2001; program director at The President’s Award, Port Alfred, South Africa from 1996 to 1997; and commissioner on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission from 2007 to 2008.

Newsom also appointed Janea Scott as commission vice chair. Scott has served on the commission since 2013 and was previously deputy counselor for renewable energy and special assistant to the counselor at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Secretary. She held multiple positions at the Environmental Defense Fund from 2000 to 2009, including senior attorney and staff attorney.

The new commission line up comes as California heightens its clean energy and microgrid efforts under laws passed last year.

SB 100 sets a goal to make the state’s electricity sector 100 percent zero-carbon by 2045. SB 1339 requires that utilities take action to support microgrids, including developing tariffs and other methods to reduce barriers to their deployment.

Also on the microgrid front, the CEC has issued two major grant programs for microgrids, most recently $50 million to boost commercialization of microgrids, a follow up to a $26.5 million grant offering in 2014 for microgrid demonstration projects. The commission last year issued a report featuring 26 microgrid case studies from California, North America, and other countries that make innovative business cases and rely on government support for less than 50 percent of project costs. In addition, the state is creating a microgrid roadmap to guide policy and regulation.

Join Microgrid Knowledge in California for Microgrid 2019: Shaping the New Electric Grid, May 14-16 in San Diego.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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