Distributed Energy Resources

Calif. CCAs add another 1,000 MW of renewable energy PPAs

Community choice aggregators (CCAs) in California have in one year added another 1,000 megawatts in long-term power purchase agreements with new renewable energy projects, bringing the grand total of new-build contracts signed to 3,195 MW, the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) reported on Nov. 7.

In addition to securing renewable energy PPAs totaling 3,195 MW, aggregators in the state have also signed long-term battery energy storage contracts for 239.5 MW/788 megawatt-hours (MWh) combined, with more than half -- 149.5 MW/438 MWh -- contracted for in the last year alone, the association noted. Of the total, 212 MW/678 MWh, or about 86%, is co-located with solar panels.

Notably, 13 CCAs – six more than last year – have now signed long-term PPAs in order to meet their renewables portfolio standard (RPS) and long-term contracting requirements under SB 350, as well as local mandates set by CCA boards. Of the 13 CCAs, five launched just last year.

Last November, CalCCA announced that CCAs had achieved a 2,000-MW milestone for long-term PPAs. “In fact, aggregators have added approximately 1,000 MW in each of the last three years,” the association said.
California’s CCAs have to date signed a total of 76 PPAs with new solar, wind, biogas and energy storage facilities, up from 59 contracts in November 2018, a nearly 30% increase. The contract terms range from 10 to 25 years, or 18 years on average across all contracts.
The clean energy projects are located in 19 California counties, which is up from 17 in 2018, from Humboldt County in the north to Riverside County in the south, with one project located in Arizona and another in New Mexico. Several projects are already operating, while others will become operational between 2019 and 2022. A map of project locations and a list of contracts can be found here.
Several local projects have been added to the list in the last year. East Bay Community Energy, for example, signed a trio of local battery energy storage contracts to facilitate the shutdown of a fossil fuel-fired power plant in downtown Oakland.

CalCCA said that aggregators are expected to make long-term investments in more than 10,000 MW
 of new clean energy resources including solar, wind, geothermal and energy storage by 2030 and several CCAs are currently in the process of procuring new clean energy resources.

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