Powering Strong Communities

Calif. CCAs reach agreement to install up to 20 MW of solar and battery backup power

Three California community choice aggregators have reached agreement with Sunrun to install up to roughly 20 megawatts of solar and battery backup power to 6,000 households vulnerable to emergency power shutoffs during the state’s wildfire season.

East Bay Community Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy and Silicon Valley Clean Energy have agreed with Sunrun to increase renewable power, reduce overall peak demand and improve grid reliability by putting this increased capacity online on a rolling basis from 2020 through 2022.  

All three agencies have carve outs in their contracts for low-income customers, disadvantaged communities and vulnerable residents in Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, including those hit by last year’s Pacific Gas & Electric emergency power shutoffs.

The contracts are part of a joint solicitation last November from the three CCAs and Santa Clara municipal utility Silicon Valley Power that was issued shortly after emergency power shutoffs last fall affected hundreds of thousands of customers in the Bay Area.

By reducing peak power demand, these contracts will effectively enable the use of local resources to help fulfill state resource adequacy requirements.

This requirement has historically been filled through purchasing resource adequacy supplies from distant power plants.

The new contracts will shift the purchase of resource adequacy to new local solar power and battery storage systems that provide the benefits of backup power directly to local homes and businesses, the CCAs noted in a July 30 news release.

“The wildfires that disrupted our power and lives last fall have given us an opportunity to find ways to better protect our most vulnerable customers from losing essential supplies and comfort during emergency outages. By partnering with Sunrun and our local non-profit agencies, we can identify those customers who can benefit the most from this program,” Peninsula Clean Energy CEO Jan Pepper said.

Additional information about Sunrun is available here.

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