California County Files Community Choice Aggregation Plan

Dive Brief:

  • The Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), a community choice aggregation program representing towns in Humboldt County, has filed its supply plan with the California Public Utilities Commission, according to a the Times-Standard.

 

  • The Times-Standard reports RCEA, with help from The Energy Authority, will use local biomass and other renewables to serve five towns and unincorporated areas in the county. The RCEA could begin supplying power to Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Blue Lake and Trinidad within six months.

 

  • California allows community choice providers to establish rates that support their own power mix, typically in an attempt to supply customers with more carbon-free energy. Customers would be able to opt out of the program, however, and remain with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). PG&E will continue to bill customers despite if they receive their power through the CCA program.

Dive Insight:

More communities are turning to aggregation programs as a way to take charge of their energy supply, paying the local utility a fee to deliver their preferred power mix at customer rates they determine. And it is not just smaller communities—cities like San Diego are also tackling energy supply programs as a way to source their power from more renewable energy.

While California has been using the CCA model for years, New York has also been dipping its toe into community aggregation alongside its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy. Sustainable Westchester became the first New York community choice aggregation plan in New York this year that will allow 17 of the 20 Westchester County municipalities to participate in a range of supply options.

San Diego’s plan, which has drawn concern from the local utility, is more notable for how quickly it wants to move to all renewable energy for such a large area. While San Diego Gas & Electric has said it does not oppose the CCA model, last year, the utility filed with regulators to establish a separate investor-backed marketing division to address CCA issues and wants to ensure a rigorous debate.

California County Files Community Choice Aggregation Plan, by Robert Walton, Utility Dive, November 14, 2016.

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