CCAs Defend IRP Plans at All-Party Meeting

California Energy Markets

April 5, 2019

Community choice aggregator representatives mounted a vigorous defense of their procurement planning activities and commitment to state clean-energy goals at an April 4 all-party meeting at the California Public Utilities Commission, after the agency issued a proposal that criticized the quality of their integrated resource plans.

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‘No silver bullet.’ Can Calif. save its utilities?

‘No silver bullet.’ Can Calif. save its utilities?

E & E News

California’s top lawmakers are weighing major changes to how the state deals with catastrophic wildfires, including overhauling rules for the troubled utilities tied to those deadly blazes. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and legislative leaders are assessing options that include breaking up Pacific Gas and Electric Co., the largest utility in the state. Lawmakers are looking at giving more power to community choice aggregators, or CCAs — city- and county-run consortiums that buy power for their residents.

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It is time to revisit Community Choice Energy for the Central Valley

In the early 2000s the Central Valley was a pioneer in evaluating a then obscure California policy known as Community Choice Aggregation, more commonly known as Community Choice Energy. The San Joaquin Valley Power Authority weathered technical, legal, and marketing efforts from PG&E, and was ultimately overcome by the economic calamity of 2008. In its effort to establish what would have been California’s first CCA, the Valley helped lay the groundwork for the movement that would follow.

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Monterey Bay CCA announces no-cost solar for affordable housing residents

In partnership with GRID Alternatives, Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) today announced the launch of Project Sunshine, a solar incentive program dedicated to assisting affordable housing residents by providing no-cost solar for families with limited or fixed incomes. By utilizing solar energy, Project Sunshine participants can also look forward to saving up to 90% on future electricity bills. “When the vision for MBCP was created, there was a very clear need and desire to direct benefits to our underserved communities and residents,” shares MBCP CEO Tom Habashi.

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Inside California’s Community Solar Experiment

Last year, SCE proposed a suite of community oriented solar programs to address some of the other programs’ pitfalls. Customers with Sacramento Municipal Utility District can already participate in a separate community solar program. Local organizations that procure power for residents, the community-choice aggregators (CCAs), are also developing their own initiatives. Guzman Aceves said the CCAs aren’t burdened by the same regulatory restrictions as utilities. “The CCAs can do something quicker, theoretically, and that’s a good thing,” she said. “They have a lot more flexibility.”

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Clean Power Alliance: Massive Launch Reaches Close to 30 Communities

The Clean Power Alliance, Southern California’s new locally-operated clean energy provider will be enrolling commercial customers across 28 additional communities (27 cities and unincorporated Ventura County) in May 2019. Business customers in these areas will receive clean energy purchased by Clean Power Alliance that has higher renewable content and is competitively-priced with Southern California Edison (SCE). SCE will continue to deliver power, send utility bills, and be responsible for resolving any electricity service issues.

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To combat climate change, California must wean buildings off fossil fuels

In communities throughout California, we’re seeing dramatic progress in the decarbonization of our electrical grid. Part of the credit goes to the growth of community choice aggregation programs, which allow residents and businesses to choose the source of the electricity they buy. San José Clean Energy, for example, offers nearly every residential customer and many businesses 80 percent carbon-free electricity at a lower cost than the private utility, Pacific Gas & Electric. By 2021, our base offering will consist of 100 percent carbon-free electricity through a rapid ramp-up of contracts with renewable providers.

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CCAs propose taking over PG&E’s retail business

It’s on. Not content with having taken over procurement for nearly half of Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s (PG&E) retail customers, a group of seven community choice aggregators (CCAs) have asked the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) to pull PG&E out of the retail business altogether, so that it can turn its attention to running lines and wires, in light of what they describe as the utility’s “dismal safety record.”

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PG&E should get out of the energy sales business, local governments say

A coalition of Northern California cities and counties is calling for state officials to remove Pacific Gas & Electric from the business of buying and selling electricity, which they say would allow the troubled company to focus on the safety of its poles and wires and reduce the risk of deadly fires. The local governments pushing that concept have already formed their own energy providers, called community choice aggregators, or CCAs. There are a dozen CCAs serving customers in PG&E’s service territory, collectively filling nearly half the electricity demand on the investor-owned utility’s power grid.

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Moody’s says bankruptcy court PG&E order credit positive for CCAs

A recent bankruptcy court order that maintains existing arrangements between community choice aggregators (CCAs) and investor-owned Pacific Gas & Electric is credit positive for CCAs in California, Moody’s Investors Service said.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California on Jan. 31 provided interim approvals, known as “first-day” orders, related to PG&E’s Jan. 29 bankruptcy filing.

The approved motions include an order to maintain existing arrangements between CCAs and PG&E, which is credit positive for Marin Clean Energy (MCE) and other CCAs in California.

“The order provides more stability to CCAs’ cash flow collections, which enables their power suppliers and other vendors to have greater certainty that CCA revenues and cash flow will remain unaffected by the utility’s bankruptcy filing,” Moody’s said in a Feb. 7 report.

Issuance of the order will facilitate the continued receipt of revenues and cash flows and should also be supportive of continued development of CCAs in PG&E’s service area, the rating agency said.

CCAs were established to provide electricity customers choice of generation supplier in the service areas of California’s investor-owned utilities.

Under the CCA business model, PG&E includes the charges for generation services provided by MCE on the monthly electricity bill that PG&E sends to customers. The customer pays the bill, and on a daily basis, PG&E transfers collected CCA generation revenues to MCE, Moody’s noted in the report.

The California Public Utilities Commission’s “Rule 23” established this process and governs the relationship between PG&E and all of the CCAs in California implementing the requirements of Assembly Bill 117, the state’s electricity aggregation choice statute.

“For the past eight years, MCE has benefited from the PG&E billing and collection process, leading to a very strong receivable collection record. In return, MCE and the other CCAs have paid PG&E a fee to handle the collection process, which they will continue to do during the bankruptcy process,” Moody’s said.

The bankruptcy court’s first-day order also included an acknowledgment that the revenues are not a part of PG&E’s estate, that PG&E must return to regular banking and billing operations, including remitting bill collections to CCAs and that CCA revenues cannot have a lien placed against them by the debtor-in-possession lender.

MCE is one of the 12 CCAs operating in PG&E’s service territory where PG&E provides transmission and distribution services. Together, the CCAs provide generation services to approximately 40% of the electric demand in PG&E’s service territory, “a level that we expect will grow,” the rating agency said.

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