CCAs procure diverse resources to achieve balanced and reliable energy portfolios
The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) announced November 10 that Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) in the state have to date signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for more than 11,000 megawatts (MW) with new-build clean energy resources, adding another 1,400 MW in just the last year.
This latest annual tally of CCA PPAs—available here—shows California’s not-for-profit community choice energy providers are continuing to secure a robust mix of renewables and energy storage technologies that will facilitate California’s transition to a carbon-free electricity supply and achievement of their own accelerated climate action goals.
The PPAs equate to over $14 billion committed by CCAs to new-build clean energy resources and support for 24,000 construction jobs. Projects totaling more than 4,000 MW are already operational and serving the growing number of CCA customers.
“CCAs are procuring the diversity of resources that are needed for the state to achieve a 100% clean electricity system, with a focus on affordability, reliability, and resilience,” said CalCCA Executive Director Beth Vaughan.
Each November for the last five years, CalCCA has provided a snapshot of the progress CCAs are making in securing new-build clean energy resources through long-term PPAs. This year’s update shows CCAs are continuing to aggressively add more diverse, clean energy resources to their portfolios.
CCAs have collectively signed 243 long-term PPAs for a combined 11,258 MW of new solar, wind, energy storage, geothermal, demand response, and biogas (see totals for each technology type below). The contracts encompass more than 7,900 MW in renewable energy PPAs and upwards of 3,300 MW in energy storage contracts.
Reflecting the growing diversity of CCA resources is the debut of long-duration energy storage on this year’s list of PPAs. CCAs participating in California Community Power (CC Power), a joint powers agency that includes nine community choice energy providers, have jointly procured a combined 119 MW of long-duration energy storage with an eight-hour discharge capability. The long-duration storage will aid in meeting California’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Also noteworthy is the growing amount of new baseload geothermal energy in CCA portfolios. This time last year, CCAs had procured 14 MW of new-build geothermal. That total has grown more than twenty-fold to 287 MW this year. A combined 23 MW in demand response resources is another notable addition to this year’s list.
More than 4,000 MW of the projects that hold long-term, new-build contracts with CCAs are already operating; all but one of the remaining projects are slated to come online between 2023 and 2026. The graphic below shows the capacity and types of energy resources procured by CCAs and their online years.
The terms for the CCA PPAs range from 10 to 25 years, or 16 years on average across all contracts. The clean energy resources are helping the CCAs meet their renewables portfolio standard (RPS) and long-term contracting requirements under SB 350, as well as local mandates set by CCA boards.
CCA clean energy projects are located in 27 California counties, from Humboldt County in the north to San Diego County in the south, as well as in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. A map of project locations can be found here.
CCAs’ annual RPS procurement expenditures increased from $473 million in 2020 to $814 million in 2021, according to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). CCAs inked the majority of new RPS contracts in 2021, compared to investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and energy service providers (ESPs), resulting in a 2021 RPS percentage of 49%, on average.
CCAs are on track to meet and exceed the state’s renewable energy goals. “The CCAs’ generation has increased to keep pace with RPS requirements through 2023, even exceeding the 2023 forecasted target,” notes the CPUC in its latest RPS report. In 2023, the quantity of projects under development is set to quadruple compared to 2022.
This year CCAs collectively served about 33% of the load in the territories of the state’s three main investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison). Based on planned CCA launches and expansions, CalCCA forecasts CCAs will serve about 36% of that load in 2023.