2021 Year in Review


Four days into the new year, SMUD’s new solar power facility in unincorporated Sacramento County started providing up to 160 megawatts of carbon-free electricity for the grid. Rancho Seco Solar 2 consists of more than 500,000 photovoltaic solar panels.


SMUD partnered with Zeus Electric Chassis, Inc. and the California Mobility Center to order five all-electric work trucks. The trucks feature the only all-electric work truck chassis manufactured in North America. SMUD is transitioning to an all-electric work fleet as part of the 2030 Zero Carbon Plan.


The California Mobility Center began operations at the Depot Park facility in South Sacramento. SMUD is a founding member of the CMC, a non-profit, public-private innovation hub that provides early-stage mobility companies from around the world with a path to commercializing their products.


Image with US Capitol building and the words "House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis"

SMUD CEO Paul Lau was invited by Congress to share details of 2030 Zero Carbon Plan before the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. In his testimony, Lau spoke about how SMUD’s plan extends beyond carbon reduction by improving local air quality, creating jobs and providing health and economic benefits to all customers, including those living in historically underserved communities.


The first six energy storage units of SMUD’s first utility-scale battery energy storage project arrived at SMUD’s Sacramento Power Academy training center. Later in the year, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm toured the Hedge storage site and praised SMUD’s efforts to develop a clean energy workforce in conjunction with the Zero Carbon Plan.


SMUD teamed up with Sacramento Regional Transit District and American Growth and Infrastructure Corp. (AGI) to provide high-speed electric vehicle chargers with on-site solar and battery storage at the Power Inn Light Rail Station. The station features the fastest Level 3 Direct Current chargers in the industry.


While the Bootleg Fire in Oregon impacted critical transmission lines from the Pacific Northwest, SMUD avoided rotating blackouts and Public Safety Shutoffs during a precarious month for energy markets. SMUD encouraged customers to conserve power during the height of the heat storm and was able to send excess energy to neighboring utilities experiencing shortages.


The Caldor Fire in El Dorado County came within a mile and half of reaching Fresh Pond, the nerve center of SMUD’s hydroelectric operations. SMUD facilities avoided the inferno that wound up burning 220,000 acres and crossed the Sierra Nevada into the Lake Tahoe basin.


SMUD’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento stepped into the future with the construction of an all-electric housing development in South Sacramento. The 13 homes in the Mandola Court neighborhood feature all-electric appliances, solar panels and electric vehicle charging capabilities.


The annual SMUD Cares employee giving campaign kicked off with an online auction and volunteering opportunities that included a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood revitalization event in South Sacramento. The 2021 SMUD Cares campaign raised more than $380,000 for local non-profits.


The SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity (MOSAC) opened its doors in November and attracted 2,500 visitors on the first weekend.  The conversion of the old powerhouse along Interstate 5 on the Sacramento Riverfront into a state-of-the-art science museum was more than a decade in the making.


SMUD secured more than $41 million in government financial assistance for residential customers who hadn’t been able to pay their bills due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. SMUD was the first public utility to receive funding from the California Arrearage Payment program.