California CCAs attain milestone of 6,000 MW in new-build clear vitality PPAs

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California CCAs reach milestone of 6,000 MW in new-build clean energy PPAs

The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) announced that Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) in the state have signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for more than 6,000 MW of newly built clean energy resources.

The total includes almost 5,000 MW of executed PPAs for renewable energies – an increase of 1,700 MW compared to the previous year – and more than 1,000 MW of battery storage contracts, a four-fold increase compared to the previous year. The growth in volume reflects the critical leadership position CCAs hold as the main drivers of new clean energy sourcing in California.

“These new totals show that Community Choice utilities continue to make great strides in securing the energy resources California needs to build a clean, affordable, and reliable electrical system,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA. “At the same time, CCAs are driving economic recovery and job creation in the state when they are most needed.”

For the past three years, each November, CalCCA has provided an overview of the progress CCAs are making in securing new clean energy resources through long-term PPAs. This year’s update shows that in a single year, CCAs added a record amount of clean energy to their portfolios while adding more diverse resources to the mix.

Last year, CCAs signed PPAs for renewable energies and energy storage with a total output of 2,600 MW, bringing the total to more than 6,000 MW for newly built solar, wind, biogas, energy storage and, for the first time, geothermal energy. The geothermal power plant, which is scheduled for completion in 2021, will be the first new geothermal system to be built in the compensation area of ​​the Californian independent system operator in 30 years.

Graphic of the CCA new buildings for clean energy resources

* 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

With record breaking heat, rampant forest fires, and public safety (PSPS) blackouts threatening the stability of California’s power grid, energy storage is becoming an increasingly important resource for reliability. By signing long-term storage contracts for battery energy totaling 1,072 MW / 3,847 MWh, aggregators are strengthening their grids to ensure that more storage systems are added to the grid. This quadruples the amount CCAs had at this point in the past year. About 72% of the total is with solar panels that charge the batteries so that clean energy can be discharged during periods of high demand to increase reliability.

17 CCAs have signed a total of 117 long-term PPAs with new solar, wind, biogas, geothermal and energy storage systems, compared to 76 contracts in November 2019 – an increase of 54%. The contract terms range from 10 to 25 years or an average of 17 years across all contracts. The clean energy resources help CCAs meet their Renewable Energy Standard (RPS) and long-term contract requirements under SB 350 as well as local mandates set by CCA bodies.

The 17 CCAs that are on the PPA list are Apple Valley Choice Energy, Central Coast Community Energy, Clean Power Alliance, CleanPowerSF, East Bay Community Energy, Lancaster Choice Energy, MCE, Peninsula Clean Energy, Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy and Pioneer Community Energy. Rancho Mirage Energy Authority, Redwood Coast Energy Authority, San Jacinto Power, San Jose Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, Sonoma Clean Power, and Valley Clean Energy.

The clean energy projects are located in 21 California counties (up from 19 in 2019), from Humboldt County in the north to Riverside County in the south, and in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. Some projects are already operational, others will be operational between 2020 and 2023. A map of the project locations and a list of contracts can be found here.

With several new CCA RFOs currently underway and planned, the list of long term CCA clean energy contracts will grow significantly in the coming year. In particular, a group of CCAs recently issued a joint RFO for 500 MW long-term storage (LDS) with a discharge time of at least eight hours. CCAs are sourcing HLT to meet California’s greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030.

After a decade of successful doing business in California, aggregators are considered reliable and stable counterparties and are able to secure the low-cost energy resources the state needs to meet ambitious climate change goals. Four CCAs – Central Coast Community Energy, MCE, Peninsula Clean Energy and Silicon Valley Clean Energy – have investment grade ratings, with more CCAs expected to follow.

As of 2020, CCAs will be supplying more than 50 GWh of load, which is 28% of the load in the supply areas of California’s three main energy providers (Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison). Based on the planned CCA launches in the next two years, CalCCA predicts that CCAs will serve 36% of the IOU load in 2022.

Message from CalCCA

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