The City of Vernon was founded in 1905 under an “exclusively industrial” model. In 5.2 square miles, Vernon is home to over 1700 businesses, and prides itself in fostering a favorable and competitive business climate for over 50,000 employees. Vernon Public Utilities (VPU) Department was established in 1933 when then Mayor John Leonis built a 38 MW diesel power plant and distribution system using bonds in the Southern California Edison Company territory. Although long since operational, the diesel generators are on display to this day in the Station A historic building.
VPU receives power from the natural-gas powered Malburg Generating Station and long term power contracts with Palo Verde and Hoover – both zero emission generators – along with a number of renewable energy sources. As of January 1, 2017, Vernon added to its renewable energy portfolio three new long-term PPAs acquired through SCPPA. The addition of the Antelope DSR Solar Project, the Astoria II Solar Project, and the Puente Hills Landfill Gas to Energy Project will help Vernon meet its RPS mandate. In addition, Vernon has approximately 18,000 acres of land in Jawbone Canyon, Kern County. The land is suitable for future solar and wind renewable project development.
Vernon electric service annually ranks among the top 10 percentile in a nation-wide reliability benchmark study, and was recently awarded Diamond Level recognition for Reliable Public Power Provider by the American Public Power Association.