SSRF Project Toolkits

These toolkits provide a set of readings and materials for getting up to speed for working on one of our projects.  We also provide a short list of goals and objectives for each project.  Each heading is also linked to the particular project page on this website, which may also have links to other pages.

Goal: To advance the principle of permitting communities and organizations to develop and operate microgrids independently of investor owned utilities.


  • Incubate and develop at least one community energy system (CES)
  • Provide experience to others who may wish to develop one or more CESs in their communities
  • To help create a colaborative roadmap to regulatory reform


SSRF, “A Community Energy Strategy for Santa Cruz”

National Renewable Energy Lab, “A Guide to Community Solar,” 2012.

Bronson Fester, Gretchen Macht & Jeffrey R.S. Brownson, “Catalyzing community-led solar development by enabling cooperative behavior: Insights from an experimental game in the United States,” Energy Research & Social Science 63 (2020): 101408.

Shalanda Baker, “Unlocking the Energy Commons: Expanding Community Energy Generation,” Law and Policy for a New Economy, Melissa K. Scanlan, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017.

Goal: Incubate a solar + storage microgrid that can fund a basic income program through the sale of solar electricity


  • Incubate and develop at least one EPICS microgrid
  • Help to develop similar projects elsewhere


National League of Cities & Basic Income Lab, “Basic Income in Cities,”   2018.

Stacia West, et al., “Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration Preliminary Analysis,” March 2021.

Goal: Collaborate with regional organization, cities, and companies in the creation of a non-profit that can provide homeowners interested in building a stand-alone or junior accessory dwelling unit with start-to-finish management at reasonable cost.


  • Generate support & funding to spin off entity
  • Identify builders & manufacturers to work with
  • Develop a range of financing mechanisms


SSRF ADU Program paper

Karen Chapple, et al., “Reaching California’s ADU Potential: Progress to Date and the Need for ADU Finance,” UC Berkeley, August 2020.

California Department of Housing & Community Development, “Accessory Dwelling Handbook,” updated Dec. 2020.

Casita Coalition, “ADU Finance Guide for Homeowners,” March 18, 2021.


Goal: To support and facilitate operation of small urban and per-urban farms & gardens across the Monterey Bay Region


  • Provide advice & training to small farmers about technologies and techniques to increase productivity and profts
  • Develop on-line tools that foster farmer collaboration and relationships with businesses and customers
  • Create an on-farm curriculum for high school students interested in professional development for the ag sector.


Pre-proposal to 2021 SARE Research & Education Program, “Supporting Small Farms and New and Future Farmers through Agricultural Technology, Regenerative Practices, Permaculture and Best Practices.”

Submission to USDA 2021 Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program (SPECA): Teaching Agricultural Science, Technology, Environment & Management through Regenerative Practices, Biodynamics & Permaculture on Small Farms (STEM2 Farming), with Whiskey Hill Farm and Watsonville High School. Not funded.

2021 Western Farmer/Rancher Grant proposal: Increasing food yields from urban and peri-urban farms through deployment of small-scale agricultural technologies, submitted with Whiskey Hill Farms, October 2020.  Funded

2020 USDA  Urban Agriculture and Innovation grant proposal: The Sustainable Urban Food Technology Initiative (SUrFTI): Agricultural technology for small farms and gardens, July 2020. Not funded.

Goal: To effectively eliminate the individual customer’s need to make a decision regarding where to put the garbage by having businesses provide only reusable products and a low-temperature composting alternative.


  • To work with restaurants and businesses to procure reusable and compostable products
  • Develop a procurement audit to determine what can be purchased that is compostable
  • Develop a user-friendly database listing truly compostable products


California Organics Recycling Council, “Compostable Plastics 101,” 2011.

IDEO & ClosedLoop Partners, “Bringing Resuable Packaging Systems to Life,” 2021.

Chao Liu, et al. “Biodegradable, Hygienic, and Compostable Tableware from Hybrid Sugarcane and Bamboo Fibers as Plastic Alternative,” Matter 3, 1–14, December 2, 2020.

Dale Ekart and Kate Bailey, “Maximizing Food Scrap Composting Through Front-of-House Collections at Food Establishments,” Ecocycle, April 2019.