Distributed Energy Resources

Calif. CCA board OKs PPAs for wind, solar, 30 MW of storage

The board of directors for East Bay Community Energy, a California community choice aggregator, on June 19 approved two power purchase agreements for a combined 157.5 megawatts from new wind and solar facilities, along with 30 MW of battery energy storage, to be built in Alameda and Fresno Counties, Calif.

The East Bay Community Energy board approved the following contracts:

  • Summit Wind Project: 20-year agreement to purchase 57.5 MW of wind energy from the Altamont Winds LLC project near Livermore in Alameda County from San Diego-based Salka LLC in partnership with a global private equity firm;
  • Sonrisa Solar Park: 20-year agreement to purchase 100 MW of solar energy and 30 MW of energy storage from the Sonrisa Solar Park in Fresno County, which will be owned and operated by EDP Renewables North America.

The Summit Wind Project located in Altamont Pass near Livermore is located within the CCA’s territory and will entail replacing a former Altamont Pass wind farm which consisted of older less efficient wind turbines with ones that are state-of-the-art.

Completion and operation of the Summit Wind Project is planned for late 2020. The project will replace 569 one-hundred-kilowatt turbines with 23 modern turbines.

Once completed, the repowered wind farm will generate more than 60 percent of its power for Alameda County during peak hours, including the afternoon and high-demand summer months, East Bay Community Energy said.

Construction on the Sonrisa Project will begin as early as December 2021 and be operational in 2022.

Both contracts are a result of a competitive solicitation and review process that was initiated in 2018.

“The agency’s ability to contract for new renewable energy projects so soon after launch is an achievement for the agency and shows the strength of CCA programs throughout the state in furthering and expediting the climate action goals of their communities and those of California,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of the California Community Choice Association.

The East Bay Community Energy board’s approval of the two PPAs brings the total tally of long-term contracts approved by the CCA this month to four.

On June 5, the board approved a contract with Vistra Energy to receive resource adequacy capacity from a 20-MW battery energy storage project that is currently planned to be built as a partial replacement for an aging, fossil fuel-fired power plant located in the heart of Oakland.

The board also gave a green light to a 56 MW solar PPA with Solar Frontier Americas to be located in Tulare County.

EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a community choice energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county.

It initiated service in June 2018 and is one of 19 CCA programs operating in California.

Public power utilities working with CCAs

In California, several public power utilities and entities are moving to provide services to CCAs.

In September 2017, SMUD said that it had been selected to negotiate a services agreement to provide Valley Clean Energy Alliance, a new community choice aggregation joint powers agency, with technical and energy services, data management/call center services, wholesale energy services, credit support services and up to five years of business operations support.

Meanwhile,  East Bay Community Energy, selected the Northern California Power Agency to provide wholesale energy services.

Association offers new CCA program membership category

The American Public Power Association has initiated a new category of membership for community choice aggregation programs.