CalCCA Welcomes Modifications to Central Buyer Structure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21, 2022
Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Welcomes Modifications to Central Buyer Structure

Concord, Calif. – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on March 17 approved several improvements to the state’s central procurement entity (CPE) structure to make it more transparent and inclusive.

The Commission adopted the CPE structure in 2020, designating Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) as central buyers to procure local, multi-year resource adequacy on behalf of load-serving entities (LSEs) including community choice aggregators.

PG&E and SCE had mixed results in 2021, their first year as central buyers. Notably, PG&E fell short of the 2023 local RA requirement by about 6,000 megawatts (MW), or 53 percent of its total requirement, according to a compliance report filed by the investor-owned utility. PG&E did not, however, specify how the obligation would be met, creating high levels of uncertainty for LSEs.

In response to input from CalCCA and other stakeholders, the CPUC modified the existing CPE structure in three key ways:

  • Recognized the risk the CPE’s failure to timely procure the needed resources presents to other LSEs, giving additional time for 2023 compliance
  • Reduced disincentives and removed barriers faced by LSEs selling their local resources to the CPE
  • Increased stakeholder transparency into the CPE’s procurement activities

CCAs opposed assigning investor-owned utilities the role of central buyer, citing a lack of neutrality and transparency. A 2019 settlement agreement supported by CalCCA and other major energy market stakeholders would have designated a “competitively neutral, independent and creditworthy entity” as central buyer. The CPUC rejected the settlement, opting instead for the current CPE structure.

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About CalCCA: Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies. There are currently 23 operational CCA programs in California serving more than 11 million customers. For more information about CalCCA and community choice, visit www.cal-cca.org.

California Assemblymember Tim Grayson Introduces Bill to Accelerate Local/Regional Transportation Electrification

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2022
Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

California Assemblymember Tim Grayson Introduces Bill to Accelerate Local/Regional Transportation Electrification

AB 1814 taps inherent strengths of Community Choice Aggregators to help California achieve greenhouse gas and pollution reduction goals

Concord, Calif. – California Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) has introduced AB 1814, legislation that would allow Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) to plug into state funding for programs to advance transportation electrification (TE) in California.

AB 1814 recognizes and seeks to accelerate the leading role community choice energy providers play in driving electric vehicle adoption through CCA-funded EV incentive and infrastructure programs. Over the last decade, more than 11 million utility customers in 200+ cities and counties, about a quarter of California’s population, have transitioned from Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) electric service to CCAs, local government entities that purchase electricity on behalf of the residents and businesses in their communities.

“California needs to put the pedal to the metal to limit the ravages of climate change,” said Assemblymember Grayson. “CCAs already have a track record of innovation in the transportation electrification space. We need to better leverage their unique strengths to put EV adoption on the fast track and meet our climate goals.”

What problem does AB 1814 address?
California’s transportation sector accounts for about 50 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, nearly 80 percent of nitrogen oxide pollution, and 90 percent of diesel particulate matter pollution. To decarbonize the transportation sector, California has established a goal of putting 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030 and a requirement that all new passenger vehicles sold in California be zero-emission by 2035. But the state is behind in installing the more than 1.2 million public and shared chargers that are needed to achieve these objectives.

How is AB 1814 a solution?
CCAs are uniquely positioned to advance charging infrastructure in key areas of the state due to their inherent partnership and direct line of communication with local governments and close community connections.

AB 1814 removes a barrier to more widespread EV adoption by allowing CCAs to submit applications to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to receive funding to administer transportation electrification programs in their service areas. As it now stands, both IOU and CCA customers pay fees to the state to fund TE programs, but only IOUs can access those state funds to administer the programs, limiting their reach. CCAs who submit applications to the CPUC would be regulated under the same requirements as IOUs.

“We need all hands on deck to decarbonize transportation in California. CCAs must also be part of the solution,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA), the bill’s sponsor. “AB 1814 removes roadblocks to participation by a large and growing segment of California’s electricity sector and paves the way for more aggressive climate action.”

AB 1814 will have its first hearing in late March or April before the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee. Add your group to the list of AB 1814 supporters here. Sign up to receive AB 1814 news and updates here.

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About CalCCA: Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies. There are currently 23 operational CCA programs in California serving more than 11 million customers. For more information about CalCCA and community choice, visit www.cal-cca.org.

 

CalCCA Recognizes Senator Anthony Portantino with CCA Champion Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8, 2021
Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Recognizes Senator Anthony Portantino with CCA Champion Award

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) announced today that Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) has received the 2021 CCA Champion Award. In selecting Senator Portantino for the award, CalCCA recognizes his steadfast efforts and leadership to combat climate change, support of long-term sustainable clean energy, and his authorship of Senate Bill 612. He received the award December 1 at CalCCA’s virtual annual meeting.

“I want to thank CalCCA for this honor and for the important work they do,” said Senator Portantino. “As we collectively step up our efforts to position California as a world leader in fighting climate change, it’s important to continue reshaping the energy landscape. “Local governments through CCAs are innovating and driving much of the change we need to reach our climate goals.” he added.

Senator Portantino receives the 2021 CCA Champion Award from Clean Power Alliance Chair Diana Mahmud at CalCCA’s Virtual Annual Meeting on December 1. You can watch the presentation of the award here.

Diana Mahmud, Mayor of South Pasadena and Chair of the Clean Power Alliance – a community choice aggregation (CCA) program serving communities in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties – presented the award.

Mahmud noted that Portantino has been a fierce and effective advocate for SB 612, a ratepayer equity bill that aims to ensure all California electric customers have fair and equal access to benefits associated with investor-owned utility (IOU) legacy energy resources. SB 612 has bi-partisan support and more than 100 California communities, environmental justice organizations, environmental groups, and clean energy providers back the bill.

“He’s been an incredible advocate,” Mahmud said. “I remember him saying, ‘we’re not going to take a pillow to this fight.’”

Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA, hailed Senator Portantino as an “unwavering advocate and relentless protector of local choice, demonstrated by his authorship and work on SB 612.”

“The Senator fought tirelessly to advance important customer fairness legislation for the more than 200 communities across California that have chosen community choice aggregation to advance local energy decisions and taken the lead in confronting our climate crisis,” Vaughan said. “We are honored to have him as a partner.”

CalCCA’s Board of Directors selects the recipient of the annual CCA Champion Award. Past awardees include MCE CEO Dawn Weisz, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, Senator Mike McGuire, and Senator Mark Leno.

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About CalCCA
Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 24 operational CCA programs in California serving more than 11 million customers. For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

California CCAs Secure Almost 10,000 Megawatts in Long-Term Contracts with New-Build Clean Energy Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 3, 2021
Press Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

California CCAs Secure Almost 10,000 Megawatts in Long-Term Contracts with New-Build Clean Energy Resources

Community choice energy providers continue prolific deal-making spree to ensure clean, reliable, affordable electricity supplies

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) announced November 3 that Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) in the state have to date signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for almost 10,000 megawatts (MW) with new-build clean energy resources, adding more than 3,000 MW since November 2020.

The clean energy buying spree by not-for-profit community choice energy providers aims to ensure California has the electricity supplies that are needed to cost effectively meet near- and long-term reliability and clean energy requirements and to achieve their own accelerated climate action goals.

“CCAs are continuing to drive a clean energy project building boom throughout California and the west,” said CalCCA Executive Director Beth Vaughan. “These projects reflect a diversity of resources that will boost energy resilience and help California attain a 100% clean electricity system, while also supporting green jobs and fueling economic development.”

Twenty-one CCAs have collectively signed 162 long-term PPAs for a combined 9,827 MW of new solar, wind, biogas, geothermal, and energy storage. The contracts, executed over the last decade, encompass almost 7,200 MW in renewable energy PPAs and more than 2,600 MW in battery energy storage contracts.

In the last year alone, aggregators added new-build renewable energy contracts totaling more than 2,000 MW. They also stepped up to ensure more energy storage is added to the grid with 2,600 MW in new battery energy storage contracts, more than double last year’s total of 1,100 MW.

Notably, almost all of the solar contracts signed by CCAs in the last year are “hybridized,” meaning the solar facilities will be co-located with batteries that can be charged with sun power and discharged at times of peak demand to boost reliability. CCAs have to date contracted for more than 6,100 MW of solar, and just over 4,000 MW, or about 66 percent, is paired with energy storage.

Hybridized Storage is the amount of total energy storage that is paired with solar. Hybridized Solar is the amount of total solar that is paired with energy storage.

Each November for the last four 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.

The clean energy projects are located in 28 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, and Nevada. A map of project locations and a list of contracts can be found here or by clicking the map below.

 

Several of the projects are already operating, while others will come online between 2022 and 2024. The graphic below shows the capacity and types of energy resources procured by CCAs and their online years.

 

The terms for the 162 PPAs range from 10 to 25 years, or 17 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.

CCAs’ total annual RPS procurement expenditures increased from $385 million in 2019 to $491 million in 2020, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

CalCCA recently received a Green Power Leadership Award from the Center for Resource Solutions in recognition of the outstanding leadership role California’s CCAs are playing to build and grow the voluntary market for renewable energy. Over the last decade, CCAs have purchased more than twice as much renewable energy than was required under state mandates, according to the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.

With several new CCA requests for offers (RFOs) currently underway and soon to be issued, the list of CCA long-term clean energy contracts will continue to grow. A group of CCAs recently formed a joint-powers agency, California Community Power, to facilitate joint clean energy procurement including long-duration storage (LDS) with a minimum of eight hours of discharge duration. CCAs are procuring LDS to aid in meeting California’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets.

The California Community Choice Financing Authority (CCCFA), meanwhile, was formed by CCAs to reduce the cost of power purchases through prepayment transactions. CCCFA will assist member CCAs by undertaking the financing or refinancing of energy prepayments with tax-advantaged bonds.

As of 2021, CCAs serve over 50 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of load, representing about 28% of the load in the service areas of California’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 36% of IOU load in 2022.

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About CalCCA
Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 24 operational CCA programs in California serving more than 11 million customers. For more information about CalCCA, visit www.cal-cca.org.

 

CalCCA Honored with Green Power Leadership Award

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 28, 2021

Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Honored with Green Power Leadership Award
California CCAs Recognized as Leaders in Accelerating Renewable Energy Markets

Concord, Calif. – The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) is honored to announce it has received a 2021 Green Power Leadership Award from the Center for Resource Solutions in recognition of the outstanding leadership role California’s community choice aggregators (CCAs) are playing to build and grow the voluntary market for renewable energy.

“We are honored to receive the Green Power Leadership Award on behalf of our member CCAs who are going above and beyond in their efforts to accelerate the advancement of clean energy resources in California and the West,” said CalCCA Executive Director Beth Vaughan.

CRS presented the award to CalCCA today at the annual Renewable Energy Markets conference. CalCCA is one of five recipients in the award’s Market Development category, which honors industry leaders that are innovators and champions of renewable energy and whose actions are supporting the accelerated development of green power markets. Google, Microsoft, Seattle City Light, and the Solar Energy Industries Association were also recognized as renewable energy champions.

“More than ever before, this year’s GPLA winners represent a movement toward increasing access to renewable energy in all communities,” said Jennifer Martin, executive director of CRS, which co-presents the annual awards with the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Partnership. The awardees, Martin added, “are demonstrating the power of renewable energy to create jobs, reduce costs, and bring electricity to underserved populations globally, while improving our environment one neighborhood at a time.”

At the virtual awards ceremony, CRS highlighted the work California CCAs are doing to drive the advancement of new clean energy resources. In the last decade, community choice energy providers have signed long-term PPAs with new-build wind, solar, geothermal, and battery energy storage facilities totaling more than 10,000 Megawatts (MW).

CCAs purchased more than twice as much renewable energy than required under state mandates, and upwards of 80 California cities and counties are working with their local community choice providers to receive 100% renewable or 100% carbon-free energy as their default supply.

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About CalCCA: Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 23 operational CCA programs in California serving more than 11 million customers. For more information about CalCCA and community choice, visit www.cal-cca.org.

Statement on Western Community Energy

 

 

June 2, 2021

CalCCA is aware that Western Community Energy has filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. We are continuing to closely monitor this evolving situation. WCE’s announcement and contact info are posted here. Additional information:

  • There are 23 operational community choice aggregation (CCA) programs in California with more than 200 cities and counties participating.
  • No other CCA in California has filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • CalCCA is not aware of other CCA programs that are in financial distress or facing bankruptcy.

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Statement on PCIA Decision by the CPUC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5.20.21
Contact: Leora Broydo Vestel
(415) 999-4757 | leora@cal-cca.org

CalCCA Statement on PCIA Decision by the CPUC

Today marks 454 days since the PCIA Working Group 3 (WG3) proposal was submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The proposal resulted from nearly a year of dedicated work by co-chairs representing CCA, IOU, and ESP customers to achieve consensus.

Through the WG3 process, co-chairs CalCCA, Southern California Edison, and Commercial Energy recommended solutions that would allow IOUs to more actively manage legacy energy resources to reduce above-market costs, which amount to billions of dollars per year that accrue to ratepayers, and to provide non-IOU customers with access to the full range of benefits they pay for through the PCIA. These include benefits associated with renewable energy, greenhouse gas-free energy, and resource adequacy.

Today, the CPUC issued a final decision on WG3. We appreciate that the Commission adopted a key element of the proposal that requires the IOUs to open up access to renewable energy benefits to all customers who pay for those benefits. Unfortunately, the CPUC denied provisions of the proposal that would allow equitable access to resource adequacy benefits and punted consideration of a GHG-free benchmark to a future proceeding.

The CPUC’s decision to block fair and equal access to these resources runs counter to the Legislature’s clear mandate that all ratepayers – IOU and CCA alike – should receive benefits from PCIA resources to offset their cost responsibility. By failing to comply with this directive, the CPUC is continuing a systematic practice of prioritizing bundled IOU customers over CCA customers when it comes to the treatment of legacy costs.

CalCCA will analyze the impact of this decision on departing load customers over the next few weeks. In the meantime, Senate Bill 612, legislation that advances ratepayer equity and cost savings, was voted out of the Senate Appropriations Committee today and is heading to the Senate floor. CalCCA will continue to advocate for timely PCIA solutions that reduce costs and increase stability for all ratepayers.

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About CalCCA: Launched in 2016, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) represents California’s community choice electricity providers before the state Legislature and at regulatory agencies, advocating for a level playing field and opposing policies that unfairly discriminate against CCAs and their customers. There are currently 24 operational CCA programs in California serving more than 11 million customers.

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