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Silicon Valley Power

Utilities · Santa Clara, CA

It all began on July 23, 1896, when the creation of a municipal electric utility was authorized by order of the Santa Clara B ... oard of Town Trustees. The Town of Santa Clara went to work creating a lighting plant consisting of forty-six 2,000-candlepower direct current lamps and a small dynamo (or electric generator). At the end of October 1896, the electric utility formally entered into service. By 1903, the Town was outgrowing its system and invested $5,000 to convert from direct current to alternating current—today's industry standard. This switch led to the abandonment of the small generation plant. Wholesale power was purchased from the United Gas and Electric Company of San Jose and, for the next sixty-two years, the utility purchased all its electric power from investor-owned utilities. In 1965, the Silicon Valley area began its launch into the high-tech era and the utility began to diversify its resources. The City of Santa Clara became a charter member of the newly formed Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) on June 12, 1968. Throughout the following years, Santa Clara and NCPA worked on behalf of all municipal electric utilities of Northern California. Together they tried to gain access to wholesale transmission markets and to jointly develop cost-effective electric generation resources to meet their growing demand. The name Silicon Valley Power came into being in March 1998, in recognition of the vital role the utility plays in serving a growing community, as well as powering some of the world's largest high-tech companies. Today, the City of Santa Clara's municipal electric utility owns, operates and participates in more than 380 megawatts of electric generating resources and serves a peak load of approximately 500 MW. The City looks toward the future and working with its customers to enhance the value they receive from municipal ownership of their electric utility. Social Media Policy: read more

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