First Known Use of QECBs will Save Yolo County at lease $8.7 Million of the Next 25 Years

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In July, 2010, Yolo County, CA installed a 1 MW solar photovoltaic array to supply power to a local jail and a juvenile center. This brief case study overviews the county's use of a variety of financial mechanisms--including qualified energy conservation bonds (QECBs), clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs), loans, and utility rebates--to fund this project.

Community Information
Name Yolo County, California
Type County
Population 200,709[2]
Community Energy Goals Reduce 2008 emissions to the levels estimated for 1990 (i.e., 613,651 metric tons, or a 5.8% reduction). The county's draft Climate Action Plan also includes voluntary goals to reduce GHG emissions by 27% by 2030, 53% by 2040, and 80% by 2050, all relative to a 1990 baseline.
Baseline Estimated 651,470 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2008 (based on Yolo County's Draft Climate Action Plan, available at
Results to Date Not available


This project represents the first known use of qualified energy conservation bonds (QECBs) and combined use of QECBs and clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs) in the United States. This case study provides a description of these and other financing mechanisms and provides detail on Yolo County's timeline and decision-making process for choosing funding sources for its PV project. The case study also includes seven lessons learned from Yolo's experience that may assist other communities in implementing a similar process. Finally, the report contains links to several other resources for information about CREBs, QECBs, and Tax Exempt Lease Purchase financing.

Environmental Aspects

The intent of this project was to develop a 1 MW solar PV array. The community's unique use of various financing mechanisms to install the system are projected to save approximately 8.7 million dollars (i.e., $18.1 million in utility savings with a system cost of $9.4 million) over the 25 year life of the project.


  1.  "First Known Use of QECBs will Save Yolo County at lease $8.7 Million of the Next 25 Years"
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