California CCAs Seek Rehearing of CPUC’s Inequitable ‘Exit Fee’ Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11.19.18

Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel

(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

 

California CCAs Seek Rehearing of CPUC’s Inequitable ‘Exit Fee’ Decision

Decision thwarts competition by shifting avoidable costs to community choice customers

 

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) and two of the state’s community choice aggregators, CleanPowerSF and Solana Energy Alliance, filed an application for rehearing today with the California Public Utilities Commission in response to the CPUC’s October 11 decision to revise the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA).

The PCIA is an “exit fee” charged by the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to community choice aggregation (CCA) and other departing load customers to compensate for electricity generation built or contracted in the past at prices that are now above-market. The CPUC’s decision is expected to result in a sharp increase in PCIA rates for CCA customers and may make it uneconomic for new CCAs to launch.

“The PCIA decision fails to ensure equitable treatment of all market participants in California,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA. “It favors incumbent utilities by shifting costs, including recovery of shareholder returns, from IOU bundled customers to CCA customers.”

In the application, the CCA parties request that the Commission correct a number of legal errors in the PCIA decision that run afoul of the California Public Utilities Code, California Code of Civil Procedure, as well as other statutes. The errors include:

  • Failing to exclude the costs of utility-owned generation (UOG) in the PCIA imposed on CCA departing load customers
  • Failing to reduce the net PCIA portfolio costs of the IOUs by the value of any benefits that remain with bundled service customers
  • Failing to exclude from the PCIA portfolio costs that are not “unavoidable” or “attributable to” departing load customers

The parties are seeking expedited review of the application on the basis that the decision will in some cases result in PCIA rates that prevent CCAs from serving their customers at the same total generation rates that an IOU can charge its customers. The PCIA rates may also cause CCAs to suspend or cancel the launch of service to new customers.

There are 19 CCA programs serving approximately 8 million customers in California. The higher PCIA rates will have local as well as statewide impacts, particularly when it comes to energy decarbonization. CCAs have signed long-term contracts with new renewable energy facilities totaling more than 2,000 megawatts, and they serve their customers with electricity that is cost-competitive, and in many cases greener, with the supplies of investor-owned utilities.

As UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation notes in a 2018 study, “the rise of CCAs has had both direct and indirect positive effects on overall renewable energy consumed in California, leading the state to meet its 2030 RPS targets approximately ten years in advance.”

The precise effects of the new PCIA on 2019 rates will ultimately depend on the outcome of Energy Resource Recovery Account proceedings that are now underway at the CPUC. ERRA proceedings are where the PCIA methodology is combined with an IOU’s actual cost and contract data to calculate the PCIA that will go into effect at the beginning of each year (January 1).

CalCCA is preparing for Phase 2 of the PCIA proceeding and remains undeterred in its efforts to support a new PCIA that lowers costs for all consumers and fosters a competitive environment that offers communities more energy options.

PDF of Press Release: CalCCA Application for Rehearing 11.19.18

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About CalCCA: The California Community Choice Association supports the development and long-term sustainability of locally-run Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity providers in California. CalCCA is the authoritative, unified voice of local CCAs, offering expertise on local energy issues while promoting fair competition, consumer choice and cost allocation and recognizing the social and economic benefits of localized energy authorities.

For more information visit www.cal-cca.org.

California CCAs Achieve 2,000-Megawatt Milestone for New Renewables

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11.15.18

Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel

(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

 

California CCAs Achieve 2,000-Megawatt Milestone for New Renewables

Long-term clean energy contract commitments by CCAs double in one year

 

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) is pleased to announce that community choice aggregators (CCAs) in the state have signed long-term contracts with new renewable energy facilities totaling more than 2,000 megawatts (MW), reflecting a strong commitment by CCAs to drive clean energy and economic development in California and help the state achieve ambitious decarbonization and climate change goals.

CCAs achieved the 2,000 MW milestone in October when Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) approved power purchase agreements (PPAs) totaling 278 MW of solar coupled with 340 megawatt hours (MWh) of battery storage for two separate projects, to be built in Kern and Kings Counties. In 2017, CCAs in California had secured approximately 1,000 MW of new renewables under long-term contracts, so the figure has doubled in one year.

“This is a significant achievement for the CCA movement in California. It shows CCAs are ready, willing and able to sign long-term contracts with new renewable energy projects, fueling new sources of clean energy, job creation and revenues for host communities,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA.

California’s aggregators have signed a total of 59 PPAs with new solar, wind, biogas, and energy storage facilities, supporting billions of dollars in construction and thousands of jobs. All but three of the contracts are for terms of ten years or longer.

The renewable energy projects are located in 16 California counties – from Mendocino County in the north to Riverside County in the south, with one located in New Mexico. Several projects are already operating, while others will become operational between 2019 and 2021. A map of project locations and a list of contracts can be found here: CalCCA Renewable Energy Map. The table below includes a sampling of projects:

 

CCA* Project MW Type County PPA Term (yrs)
PCE Wright Solar Park 200 Solar Merced 25
MCE Little Bear Solar 160 Solar Fresno 20
MBCP/SVCE RE Slate 1 150/45 Solar/Storage Kings 15
MBCP/SVCE Big Beau Solar 128/40 Solar/Storage Kern 20
CPSF San Pablo Raceway 100 Solar Los Angeles 22
SCP Sand Hill C 80 Wind Alameda 20
LCE Western Antelope Dry Ranch 10 Solar Los Angeles 20

* Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), MCE, Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP), Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), CleanPowerSF (CPSF), Sonoma Clean Power (SCP), Lancaster Choice Energy (LCE)

Marin Clean Energy (MCE) initiated service in 2010 becoming the first operational CCA in California. There are now 19 CCAs serving approximately 8 million customers in the state and momentum is building. Ten CCAs launched in 2018 alone and many more are under development.

Despite their newness, CCAs are viewed as reliable and stable counterparties and are proving adept at securing cost-effective, long-term power resources. As a result, CCAs are able to serve their customers with electricity that is cost-competitive, and in many cases greener, with the supplies of investor-owned utilities.

“A key aspect of the value proposition offered by MCE and other California CCAs is the requirement that renewable and clean energy be a major component of the customers’ power supply mix,” Moody’s Investor Services said upon assigning MCE an investment grade credit rating in May. “This value is one of the most significant factors that provides strength to the long-term business model.”

As more CCAs begin procuring long-term resources, investments in new clean energy facilities will intensify. Clean Power Alliance and East Bay Community Energy, launched in 2018, are among the CCAs that are currently evaluating developers’ offers for new renewables projects in California. This fact sheet provides additional information on CCA power purchasing.

PDF version of this press release is here:  CCAs Achieve 2000 Megawatt Milestone

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About CalCCA: The California Community Choice Association supports the development and long-term sustainability of locally-run Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity providers in California. CalCCA is the authoritative,

unified voice of local CCAs, offering expertise on local energy issues while promoting fair competition, consumer choice and cost allocation and recognizing the social and economic benefits of localized energy authorities.

For more information visit www.cal-cca.org.

CalCCA Statement on the Advancement of Community Choice Aggregation in San Diego

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 25, 2018
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

 

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) has issued the following statement by Executive Director Beth Vaughan in response to the City of San Diego’s announcement that it is moving forward with community choice aggregation (CCA):

“The California Community Choice Association welcomes San Diego’s selection of community choice aggregation as the preferred pathway to reach the city’s 100 percent renewable energy goal. The association appreciates San Diego’s careful consideration of CCA as a means to address climate change, provide residents and businesses with a choice of energy providers, and reduce costs for ratepayers. There are 19 CCA programs operating successfully throughout California and we look forward to more communities joining this exciting movement.”

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About CalCCA: The California Community Choice Association supports the development and long-term sustainability of locally-run Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity providers in California. CalCCA is the authoritative, unified voice of local CCAs, offering expertise on local energy issues while promoting fair competition, consumer choice and cost allocation and recognizing the social and economic benefits of localized energy authorities. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving an estimated 8 million customers in 2018.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

CalCCA Statement on CPUC Approval of Controversial ‘Exit Fee’ Reforms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 11, 2018

Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel

(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Statement on CPUC Approval of Controversial ‘Exit Fee’ Reforms

Commission Decision Shifts Costs to Departing Load Customers

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) today released the following statement from Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA, after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to approve controversial revisions to the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA).

“CalCCA is very disappointed that the Commission approved changes to the PCIA that favor the investor-owned utilities and will stifle competition from locally-run CCAs,” Vaughan said. “However, we remain undeterred in our efforts to support a new PCIA that lowers costs for all consumers and fosters a competitive environment that offers communities more energy options. We will consider all avenues going forward.”

The PCIA is an “exit fee” charged by the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to CCA and other departing load customers to compensate for electricity generation built or contracted in the past at prices that are now above-market.

Today’s action by the CPUC will result in a sharp increase in PCIA rates for CCA customers. This devastating blow to the flourishing CCA movement in California could deter further market entry by CCAs.  At a minimum, the action will impair CCAs’ abilities to accelerate the state’s decarbonization and economic justice policy goals and to better tailor electric service to meet the needs of local communities.

CalCCA thanks Administrative Law Judge Stephen Roscow for putting forth common sense, legally-supportable reforms to the PCIA based on the hearing record, that would have provided a more balanced result. The rejection of Roscow’s proposal by the Commission is at the expense of both CCA and IOU ratepayers in California.

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About CalCCA: The California Community Choice Association supports the development and long-term sustainability of locally-run Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity providers in California. CalCCA is the authoritative, unified voice of local CCAs, offering expertise on local energy issues while promoting fair competition, consumer choice and cost allocation and recognizing the social and economic benefits of localized energy authorities. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving an estimated 8 million customers in 2018.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

Press release is here.

CalCCA Issues Report on CCA Efforts to Advance Equity and Diversity in Local Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2018
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Issues Report on CCA Efforts to Advance Equity and Diversity in Local Communities

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) has issued a new report that details efforts by the state’s Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) to advance equity and diversity through their procurement, policy and program activities. The report’s release coincided with the California Public Utilities Commission’s Supplier Diversity En Banc, held on October 4 in Richmond.

The report, titled “Beyond Supplier Diversity,” highlights CCA initiatives that align with the intent and spirit of General Order (GO) 156, the CPUC’s Utility Supplier Diversity Program. The program monitors supplier diversity in procurements by participating utilities and oversees a clearinghouse of women; minority; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT); and disabled veteran-owned business enterprises.

CalCCA Executive Director Beth Vaughan and MCE Chief Executive Officer Dawn Weisz participated in a panel at the En Banc which focused on emerging energy markets. They highlighted the steps CCAs are taking to ensure their operations are inclusive of diverse groups, such as those targeted in the GO 156 program.

CalCCA’s Environmental Justice and Equity Working Group compiled the report after surveying CCAs to find out what they are doing to promote economic development in diverse communities.

“We asked, what are the CCAs doing to ensure access, inclusion, and representation of underrepresented sectors in the core business of CCAs, that of clean energy,” Vaughan said at the En Banc.

CCA programs and activities featured in the report vary widely, from the creation of community advisory committees and local development business plans to the funding of grants to enable community engagement and local workforce development initiatives.

“In their role as public, not-for-profit agencies, CCAs share a commitment to inclusion and representation of our diverse communities through democratic governance and intensive community engagement,” the report notes.

The working group is evaluating CCA diversity activities to establish best practices that can be shared within CalCCA’s membership and with external stakeholders. CalCCA also plans to host a CCA supplier diversity symposium next year in Southern California. The first symposium, co-hosted by CalCCA and the Greenlining Institute, was held in January 2018 in Richmond.

The full report is available here.

 

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About CalCCA: The California Community Choice Association supports the development and long-term sustainability of locally-run Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity providers in California. CalCCA is the authoritative, unified voice of local CCAs, offering expertise on local energy issues while promoting fair competition, consumer choice and cost allocation and recognizing the social and economic benefits of localized energy authorities. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving an estimated 8 million customers in 2018.

 

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

120 Elected Officials Urge CPUC to Issue Fair and Equitable PCIA Decision

Elected officials representing a diverse range of communities throughout the state are urging the California Public Utilities Commission to “put people over profits” and issue a fair and equitable decision on the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment. The PCIA is an “exit fee” charged by the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to community choice aggregation (CCA) and other departing load customers to compensate for electricity bought in the past at prices that are now above-market.

In an open letter published in The San Francisco Chronicle on September 13 to coincide with the Global Climate Action Summit, ten dozen mayors, councilmembers and supervisors call on CPUC commissioners to consider the many ways local governments are contributing to clean energy advancement and climate change action in California.

“Our cities and counties are among the more than 160 communities across California that have chosen to participate in CCA programs to meet climate action goals, provide residents and businesses with more energy options, ensure local transparency and accountability, and drive new in-state economic development,” the letter notes. “CCAs are reliably serving more than 8 million customers with clean, affordable electricity, and can continue to thrive with a fair cost allocation decision.”

Public, transparent CCA programs born in cities and counties across the state face uncertainty as the CPUC considers changes to the PCIA. CCAs oppose an “alternate proposal” that is currently before the Commission as it would roll back clean energy efforts by communities, hit low-income customers the hardest, and reward big corporate utilities for mismanaging their energy portfolios.

The alternate “would significantly and unfairly increase exit fees charged by big corporate utilities and threaten current and future community choice energy programs — the very programs that are helping the state exceed its emissions-reduction targets,” the letter said.

The letter is signed by more than 25 mayors of California cities both large and small — from Oxnard to Oakland, Rancho Mirage to Rocklin —  as well as scores of city and county councilmembers and supervisors.

The full letter is here: Letter to CPUC 9.13.18

CalCCA Calls on Commission to Reject Alternate PCIA Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 7, 2018
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) is urging the California Public Utilities Commission to reject a proposal to alter the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA), warning in comments filed Sept. 6 that it would lead to sharp increases in PCIA rates for existing community choice aggregation (CCA) programs and make it uneconomic for new CCA programs to launch

The PCIA is an “exit fee” charged by the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to CCA and other departing load customers to compensate for electricity bought in the past at prices that are now above-market. The Commission is considering two proposed decisions on the PCIA.

The first Proposed Decision (PD), crafted by an Administrative Law Judge after a year-long process, strikes a reasonable balance with respect to stranded cost recovery and provides an opening for long-term cost reduction for both CCA and IOU bundled customers. A commissioner’s alternate proposed decision (APD), however, would result in significant PCIA rate increases for CCA customers, while protecting the returns of utility shareholders.

“The APD would deal a devastating blow to the flourishing CCA movement in California, impairing CCAs’ abilities to accelerate the state’s decarbonization and economic justice policy goals and to better tailor electric service to meet the needs of local communities,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA.

The APD contains a number of elements that would materially shift costs to CCA customers. Of primary concern is the APD’s inclusion of pre-2002 “Legacy” utility-owned generation (UOG) in the scope of PCIA-eligible costs. Doing so would place responsibility for new capital investment costs in these aging UOG facilities on CCA customers long after their departure, contrary to the Commission’s indifference standards and clear statutory directives.

“It is the Commission’s province to apply, not rewrite, the law, and the final decision must exclude Legacy UOG from CCA customer cost responsibility,” CalCCA notes in its comments.

The APD also removes the 10-year limitation on recovery of post-2002 UOG costs through the PCIA, ignoring prior Commission decisions, reducing utility incentives to prudently plan and manage their portfolios and subsidizing the ongoing operation of fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Further, the APD “scrapes the bottom of the barrel” in proposing a flawed, short-term resource adequacy capacity benchmark to value the IOUs’ energy portfolio capacity, leaving CCAs no alternative but to procure in the short-term market to compete with the IOUs.

“The APD’s benchmark would drive a change in the CCA’s business model that undermines the state’s policy goals,” CalCCA said. “Rather than engaging in new RPS project development with a long-term power purchase agreement, a CCA would be driven to procure low-cost attributes to reduce risk.”

Most critically, it would be impossible for the CCA to fund the types of services they were intended to promote, such as innovative electric vehicle programs, procurement of local premium resources or programs for low-income residents and disadvantaged communities, while staying competitive with IOU rates.

CalCCA requests that the Commission reject the APD and adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s Proposed Decision, subject to the modifications proposed in CalCCA’s August 21 comments on the PD.

The association will be advocating today for a fair PCIA resolution during an all-party meeting at the CPUC. The Commission is expected to consider PCIA reform proposals on September 27.

The full press release is here: CalCCA Response to PCIA APD.

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About CalCCA: The California Community Choice Association supports the development and long-term sustainability of locally-run Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity providers in California. CalCCA is the authoritative, unified voice of local CCAs, offering expertise on local energy issues while promoting fair competition, consumer choice and cost allocation and recognizing the social and economic benefits of localized energy authorities. There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving an estimated 2.5 million customer accounts in 2018.

For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.