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San José Clean Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy Launch Renewable Energy, Battery Storage Request

San José and Redwood City, CA – San José Clean Energy and Peninsula Clean Energy have launched a joint Request for Offers for the purchase of 1 million megawatt-hours annually of new, long-term renewable energy or renewable energy-plus-battery storage resources, enough to power about 200,000 homes each year. They are seeking power purchase agreements lasting at least 10 years and those allowing projects to begin operation no later than the end of 2024.

Proposals are due Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. PDT.

“Community choice energy providers are driving California’s clean energy future by investing billions in renewable energy and battery storage,” said Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San José. “Our communities benefit from cleaner air, cost savings, more transparency and accountability, and greater ability to take climate action, including meeting our aggressive Climate Smart San José goals.”

Peninsula Clean Energy is in the vanguard of providing reliable, affordable and around the clock renewable power in both homes and businesses,” said Dave Pine, who represents District 1 on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and serves on the Board of Peninsula Clean Energy. “With these renewable energy and storage contracts, Peninsula Clean Energy continues to demonstrate the innovation and leadership of community choice energy providers.”

The two community choice energy providers, who serve approximately 1.7 million people in the City of San José and San Mateo County, have ambitious clean energy goals and already offer more renewable energy than the state’s 33 percent requirement. Peninsula Clean Energy offers at least 50 percent renewable energy and San José Clean Energy offers 45 percent renewable energy to their respective customers. Both agencies offer rates lower than PG&E.

California’s roughly two-dozen community choice energy providers plan to make long-term investments by 2030 in more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new clean energy resources, including solar, wind, geothermal and energy storage.

To date, Peninsula Clean Energy has contracted for 550 MW of clean energy resources. That includes the 200-MW Wright Solar Project – the largest renewable energy installation built for a CCA – that came online in January and the 100-MW Mustang Two solar project expected to come online in December.

Since its launch in February 2019, San José Clean Energy has invested in 262 MW of solar and 10 MW of battery storage. In April, they invested in an innovative project with developer Terra-Gen: A 12-year agreement guaranteeing delivery of 62 MW of renewable energy from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day. This will help meet their goal of providing more renewable energy during all hours of the day.

Both providers are interested in receiving offers for “sundown renewable energy” – which is renewable energy delivered when the sun is not shining. Peninsula Clean Energy’s goal is to offer its customers 100 percent renewable energy on a 24/7 hour-by-hour basis by 2025.

Collaborating on power purchase agreements creates planning and economic efficiencies. In addition to this Request for Offers, San José Clean Energy and Peninsula Clean Energy are cooperating on their organizations’ Integrated Resource Plans for the California Public Utilities Commission to align their long-term energy procurement strategies and ensure reliability.

 

About San José Clean Energy

San José Clean Energy is the new electricity generation service provider for residents and businesses in the City of San José, operated by the City’s Community Energy Department. Governed by the City Council, it provides over 328,000 residential and commercial electricity customers with cleanrenewable power options at competitive prices, from sources like solar, wind and hydropower. For more information, please visit www.SanJoseCleanEnergy.org.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @SJCleanEnergy.

 

About Peninsula Clean Energy

Peninsula Clean Energy launched in October 2016 as California’s fifth Community Choice Aggregation agency and is the official local electricity provider for all of San Mateo County. It is one of only three CCAs in California to obtain investment-grade credit ratings. While offering rates that save its 295,000 San Mateo County customers an estimated $18 million annually compared to PG&E, Peninsula Clean Energy is aggressively striving toward the goals of providing 100 percent greenhouse gas-free power by 2021 and 24/7 renewable power by 2025. Find out more at PenCleanEnergy.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook @PenCleanEnergy and on LinkedIn.

 

Contacts

Kate Ziemba, Public Information Manager

San José Clean Energy, City of San José

(408) 535-4889; kate.ziemba@sanjoseca.gov

 

Darren Goode

Peninsula Clean Energy

(202) 550-6619; dgoode@peninsulacleanenergy.com

San Jose Clean Energy: What you need to know

Next month, San Jose will switch electricity suppliers — from PG&E to San Jose Clean Energy.

The change is part of the city’s broader goal to become more environmentally friendly. Although President Trump announced in June he was pulling out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change among almost 150 countries, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has said he still wants the city to meet the greenhouse gas emission targets outlined in the accord.

Thousands of residents and businesses will be affected by the switch from PG&E. Here’s what you need to know.

What is San Jose Clean Energy? 

San Jose Clean Energy (SJCE) is what’s known as a community choice energy program. There are several such programs of locally controlled electricity providers in the region, including Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Peninsula Clean Energy.

Why is San Jose switching? 

As a nonprofit, SJCE aims to provide cleaner energy options to customers than PG&E does, for roughly the same price. Right now, according to the city, only about a third of PG&E’s energy is from renewable sources and about 78 percent is carbon free.

San Jose is offering two choices: Green Source is about 45 percent renewable energy and at least 80 percent carbon free; Total Green is 100 percent carbon free and 100 percent renewable.

What will it cost?  

The program will cost about 1 percent less than what PG&E charges. The city estimates that the average Green Source cost will be about $109.49 a month, compared to PG&E’s $109.97. Total Green will cost a few dollars more, about $113.94.

Will rates go up? 

Electricity prices vary, but the city says the current SJCE rates are expected to remain steady until at least the spring of 2020. The program’s goal is to always be as competitive with PG&E’s rates as possible, and while that company has shareholders, SJCE is a nonprofit that does not.

What do I have to do to sign up?

Nothing. In February, residents and businesses in San Jose will automatically be enrolled in the Green Source program. People who want to sign up for Total Green can upgrade and those who want to stick with PG&E can opt out.

Really? Everyone is automatically signed up? 

Well, almost, but not quite. Residents who have rooftop solar panels will not automatically be enrolled in Green Source. The city says it expects to enroll those customers in the program in 2020, when “we can be certain you will receive a fair value for the solar you generate.” Residents can still sign up for Total Green, however, and commercial customers with solar can participate in SJCE.

So I won’t hear from PG&E anymore? 

SJCE will generate the electricity but PG&E will still transmit and distribute it in San Jose. PG&E will also still handle customer and billing services, so your bill will still come from PG&E. The company will also still be responsible for maintaining power lines and providing natural gas services.

Will my bill look different? 

Yes. PG&E charges what’s commonly known as an “exit fee” to people who participate in a community choice program. The reason PG&E says that’s necessary is because it has already purchased power for customers who will switch to a community choice program. But even with the fee, the total bill should still be slightly lower.

Wait, didn’t PG&E just announce that it’s filing for bankruptcy?

Yes, the company is planning to file for Chapter 11 protection. It faces potentially billions of dollars in costs tied to wildfires that have ravaged the state in the past several years. But the company has told San Jose there will be no interruption in power service for customers and SJCE is expected to launch in February as planned, said Zach Struyk, a deputy director with SJCE.

The future of PG&E remains unclear, but the city said in a statement that SJCE and other community choice programs are “closely monitoring the situation and evaluating potential impacts” on customers.

Is this really helping the environment? 

Yes. The city expects to see an 18 percent initial reduction in what are known as GHG emissions. That’s like getting 35,000 cars off the road.

Where can I get more information?

The website sanjosecleanenergy.org has more information about the program. People with specific questions can call 833-432-2454 or email customerservice@sanjosecleanenergy.org. The city is also hosting a series of community events through March to discuss the program.

 

San Jose Clean Energy: What you need to know, by Emily Deruy, The Mercury News, January 19, 2019.