East Bay Community Energy aims for 100% clean energy by 2030

Pleasanton Weekly

East Bay Community Energy recently committed to providing nearly 1.7 million local customers with 100% renewable energy in the next decade, 15 years ahead of the state’s target date, when the Board of Directors adopted the policy at its Dec. 16 meeting.

The action makes EBCE one of the country’s largest electricity providers to commit to 100% renewable power in the next ten years, and also sets the stage for taking “bold action to fight climate change while addressing the needs of our community,” officials said in a statement.

Board Chair Dan Kalb, who also serves on the Oakland City Council, said the policy “has already resulted in contracts for over 500 megawatts of new California wind, solar, and energy storage,” and that EBCE “expects to contract for several hundred more megawatts of clean energy” this year.

“This positions EBCE well to meet its 100% clean energy goals,” Kalb said. “Through this procurement, EBCE is also focused on bringing the benefits of clean energy — jobs, resiliency, healthy air, and lower costs — to residents and businesses across the East Bay.”

Read more here: East Bay Community Energy aims for 100% clean energy by 2030 | News | PleasantonWeekly.com |

Silicon Valley Clean Energy Receives ‘A’ Issuer Credit Rating from S&P Global Ratings

Public Power Daily

S&P Global Ratings on Jan. 5 assigned an “A” issuer credit rating to Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), a California community choice aggregator (CCA).

This credit rating, the second investment-grade credit rating for SVCE, “reflects the assessment completed by S&P Global, and speaks to SVCE’s financial strength and robust energy risk management policies,” SVCE said in a news release.

“New opportunities from this credit rating allow SVCE to provide affordable clean electricity while continuing to fund innovation and decarbonization programs within the SVCE service area,” said SVCE CEO Girish Balachandran.

SVCE said that S&P Global’s “A” rating recognizes the stability of the customer base since service began in 2017, a diverse clean power supply, low rates and internal credit-supportive policies seen at SVCE.

S&P Global views SVCE financial and enterprise profiles as strong, with approximately $160 million in cash reserves, the CCA said.

In addition, the rating will enable SVCE to negotiate new energy supply contracts at lower costs, resulting in lower energy rates for customers, it noted.

Read more here: Silicon Valley Clean Energy receives “A” issuer credit rating from S&P Global Ratings | American Public Power Association

What Biden’s Good Climate Plan Is Missing So Far

Bloomberg

Suppose we could adopt, soon or right now, a strategy that would substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions while costing people very little, or possibly even nothing? Not only that, it would not require bans or mandates, new regulations or carbon taxes. Consumers would retain freedom of choice. The very idea sounds fanciful, even nuts. Yet a number of municipalities in California have adopted such an approach, and it’s in widespread use in Germany, where it is having a major impact. `

In California, green by default has been made possible by what is called Community Choice Aggregation. Local governments are allowed to obtain power from an alternative supplier, while also receiving services from their existing supplier. If municipalities choose, they can negotiate better rates from that existing supplier, or decide instead to drop that supplier in favor of a greener one (perhaps because greener is better on environmental grounds, perhaps because greener is cheaper).

Read more here: Biden Climate Plan Needs ‘Green by Default’ – Bloomberg

Two More Cities Join Regional Renewable Energy Agency a Day Before New Board Meets

Voice Of OC

Lake Forest and Buena Park have signed on to a new Community Choice Energy program expected to lower costs for residents through investments in renewable energy. Irvine has offered to pay $2.7 million to create the new agency singlehandedly, and has committed to offering collateral for a loan ranging from $8 million to $17 million for the initial capital. Huntington Beach and Fullerton also voted to join the power authority recently, which now has five cities as members. Other cities in the county interested in joining next year include Santa Ana, Placentia, Stanton, Aliso Viejo and Villa Park. The cities that joined already will become the founding members of the Orange County Power Authority.

The community choice program is a public electric utility service that will give customers the option of getting their electrical power from a utility provider or a local government entity. Proponents of the program have praised its options that allow for greater investment in renewable energy sources and microgrids, and point out it allows greater local control over the source of the power supply. “We also need to reduce our production of greenhouse gases to avoid an environmental catastrophe. This means that our future source of energy needs to be renewables such as solar, wind, and possibly hydrogen,” said one resident during the Lake Forest City Council meeting Tuesday.

Read more here: Two More Cities Join Regional Renewable Energy Agency a Day Before New Board Meets -Voice of OC

Calif. aggregators to seek up to 20 GW of renewable energy, storage by 2030

S&P Global

As California’s local government-run community choice aggregators take on a larger share of the responsibility for purchasing power in the state, they anticipate signing long-term contracts for up to 20,000 MW of renewable energy and energy storage by 2030, according to a spokesperson for the California Community Choice Association. That would account for the vast majority of new resources that community choice aggregators, or CCAs, investor-owned utilities and other load-serving entities together must procure to meet the state’s 2030 retail electricity target of 60% renewable energy and is roughly double CCAs’ anticipated acquisitions from a year ago. Since November 2019, CCAs have added power purchase agreements for 1,700 MW of new renewable energy and 882.5 MW of battery storage, the spokesperson said.

Read more here: https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/calif-aggregators-to-seek-up-to-20-gw-of-renewable-energy-storage-by-2030-61247574

 

Calif. CCAs sign 6,000 MW in long-term contracts with new-build clean energy resources

Public Power Daily

The California Community Choice Association on Nov. 12 reported that community choice aggregators in the state have to date signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for more than 6,000 megawatts (MW) with new-build clean energy resources.

The total includes almost 5,000 MW in executed renewable energy PPAs, an increase of 1,700 MW compared to a year ago, and more than 1,000 MW in battery energy storage contracts, a four-fold increase over last year.

“The increasing volumes reflect the important leadership position CCAs hold as the main drivers of new clean energy procurement in California,” the association said in a news release.

Each November for the last three 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 have added in a single year a record-setting amount of clean energy to their portfolios while bringing more diverse resources to the mix.

CCAs have signed in the last year renewable energy and energy storage PPAs totaling 2,600 MW, bringing the total to more than 6,000 MW in new-build solar, wind, biogas, energy storage, and, for the first time, geothermal energy. The geothermal power plant, slated for completion in 2021, will be the first new geothermal facility built in the California Independent System Operator balancing area in 30 years.

Meanwhile, CalCCA said that energy storage is becoming an ever more important reliability resource. CCAs signed long-term battery energy storage contracts totaling 1,072 MW/3,847 megawatt-hours (MWh), quadruple the amount CCAs had at this time last year. About 72% of the total is co-located with solar generation facilities that will charge the batteries.

Read more here: https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/calif-ccas-sign-6000-mw-long-term-contracts-with-new-build-clean-energy-resources

What Is the Clean Energy Industry Doing to Confront Racism?

Greentech Media

In the wake of spring outpourings of grief and anger over the killings of Black Americans such as Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, numerous companies in the clean energy industry turned the lens inward. Companies that had never before spoken out about racism published statements condemning it, and some donated to the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Despite the unprecedented action, inequality is not a new or unrecognized problem in the renewables industry. It remains to be seen whether these newest expressions of upset and accompanying initiatives to combat racism within and outside company ranks will continue.

“If we’re really going to make advances that move the needle in a more comprehensive way, we need to be thinking of more comprehensive solutions than just what is the quickest solution to the problem right in front of me,” said Stephanie Chen, the former energy equity director at The Greenlining Institute and now senior policy counsel at community-choice aggregator Marin Clean Energy. “It’s up to the clean energy industries, as well as to policymakers, to make that commitment across the sector to do better.”

Read more here: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/what-is-the-clean-energy-industry-doing-to-confront-racism

New Energy Providers Join Forces Against Entrenched Agency Rules

California Current

Bureaucratic red tape at the California Public Utilities Commission prevented East Bay Community Energy from contracting for clean, behind-the-meter electricity last year that could have provided power or lowered demand during the August heat waves. The resources were designated to help meet East Bay’s 2020 resource adequacy obligations. The community aggregator says it also is hitting a wall with regulators who have limited its ability to invest in clean demand response and capitalize on aggregated residential solar-plus-storage resources, Stefanie Tanenhaus, EBCE senior regulatory analyst, told Current.

EBCE has now joined with other community energy organizations and third-party demand response suppliers who share similar frustrations, and together are pushing back.

In a letter to the Chair of the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee last week, they laid out specific ways California’s clean capacity reserves can be increased, averting blackouts. These range from removing market uncertainties and other hurdles faced by large and small energy storage projects, to doing away with outmoded caps on conservation. The group is urging the grid operator and CPUC to take five steps, or else risk a repeat of the unacceptable mid-August rolling blackouts.

“It’s imperative that we immediately implement these common-sense changes that can not only help stabilize the grid by 2021, but save consumers on their electricity bills, while also having the benefit of reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from burning more natural gas,” Tanenhaus said.

Read more here: https://cacurrent.com/subscriber/archives/41940

3CE Gets ‘A’ Credit Rating From S&P

California Energy Markets

Standard & Poor’s gave Central Coast Community Energy an “A” issuer credit rating Oct. 16, an indication that S&P considers the community choice aggregator “stable.”

3CE—formerly known as Monterey Bay Community Power—said it expects the rating will ultimately boost the number of counterparties competing for its wholesale contracts, lower its transaction costs, and provide it with access to “innovative financing structures” needed for developing energy solutions.

“3CE is proud to receive the first ‘A’ investment grade credit rating among California CCAs,” Bruce McPherson, 3CE policy board chair and Santa Cruz County supervisor, said in a news release. “This is a testament to the hard work and forward thinking 3CE staff and leadership have demonstrated since launching in 2018 . . . This historic rating will allow 3CE to embark on an even more impactful path towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions through local energy programs and energy procurement, and it helps to ensure the longevity and continued success of 3CE on behalf of our communities.”

Read more here: https://www.newsdata.com/california_energy_markets/regional_roundup/3ce-gets-a-credit-rating-from-s-p/article_ac5e73a0-1561-11eb-b42d-1fa192b92b9f.html

The First Major Long-Duration Storage Procurement Has Arrived

California’s community-choice aggregators are moving ahead of the traditional utilities.

Greentech Media

California regulators said this year that the state will need 1 gigawatt of long-duration storage by 2026. But the technologies that can cost-effectively meet that need have so far attracted more attention from white-paper authors than paying customers.

That changed on Thursday, when a coalition of eight Californian community-choice aggregators, led by Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), published a request for offers seeking 500 megawatts of long-duration storage capacity. In doing so, they beat the state’s investor-owned utilities in making good on the California Public Utilities Commission’s call to invest in this resource.

“We know that this is going to be needed in our future,” SVCE CEO Girish Balachandran said in an interview. “As load-serving entities, we said, ‘Let’s take the first step of moving this forward.'”

Indeed, the Joint CCA procurement appears to be the largest-ever effort to contract for long-duration storage.

“I haven’t seen anything this big…that’s focused on long duration,” said Jin Noh, senior policy manager at the California Energy Storage Alliance.

Read more here: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-first-long-duration-storage-procurement-has-arrived