Powering Strong Communities

California community choice aggregators issue RFO for long-duration storage

Eight Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) in California late last week launched a joint request for offers (RFO) to procure up to 500 megawatts (MW) of long-duration energy storage.

The RFO was issued on Oct. 16 by Central Coast Community Energy, CleanPowerSF, Marin Clean Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy, Redwood Coast Energy Authority, San Jose Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, and Sonoma Clean Power.

The CCAs are looking to sign a minimum 10-year contract for grid-charged technologies in the form of one or more projects that would come online by or before 2026 with a minimum discharge period of eight hours. Responses to the RFO are due by Dec. 1.

“By working together, the eight CCAs are able to procure large-scale projects that would be challenging for one CCA to procure on its own,” Girish Balachandran, CEO of Silicon Valley Clean Energy, said in a statement. “Collaborating on this long-duration storage solution allows the CCAs to manage financial and technology risks while still diversifying portfolios with cost-effective and innovative resources.”

The CCAs say long-duration energy storage will do more to help support higher concentrations of renewable energy on the grid. Most of the energy storage devices deployed to date have durations of about four hours, which can provide energy for a few hours in the evening after solar power resources fade.

The CCAs are looking for long-duration storage that would be able to charge from the grid when renewable resources are at their peak and discharge for eight to 16 hours when renewable production is lower.

A recently released preliminary analysis by the California Independent System Operator, the California Public Utilities Commission, and California Energy Commission into the root causes of the state’s Aug. 14 and 15 rotating outages found that the simultaneous decline of solar power and rise of demand in the evening has resulted “multiple critical periods during the day” rather than a single peak. The report recommended the procurement of more resources, including energy storage, and changes to the state policies to address the new challenge of “net peak demand.”

The CCAs say the addition of long-duration storage to their portfolios will aid renewable integration on the grid while advancing California’s aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030.

Earlier in 2020, the joint CCAs issued a Request for Information for long-duration storage and received more than 58 project entries with 14 different technologies, which they said signaled “significant supplier interest.”

The RFO is available here.

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