Community Engagement

NCPA to provide energy services to community choice entity

The San Jose City Council recently voted to approve a contract for the Northern California Power Agency to provide community choice energy provider San Jose Clean Energy with wholesale energy services.  

In an April 2 news release, NCPA noted that San Jose established San Jose Clean Energy “to offer renewable energy choices to customers, lower greenhouse gas emissions, increase local control, and promote economic growth.”

Under the agreement between NCPA and the city of San Jose, NCPA will provide San Jose Clean Energy with a variety of wholesale energy services, including scheduling coordination and portfolio management and optimization services. These services will provide support as San Jose Clean Energy procures power for delivery to San Jose Clean Energy customers over the Pacific Gas & Electric Company transmission and distribution system.

A state law passed in 2002 authorizes local governments in investor-owned utility service territories to establish programs to purchase electricity on behalf of their communities. Under this framework, commonly referred to as community choice energy, the local government makes energy resource decisions, while the investor-owned utility maintains the transmission and distribution system.

NCPA noted that there are 11 community choice energy programs that are currently operational in California, and San Jose Clean Energy is one of several new programs expected to launch this year.

“We are already providing similar services to the nearby City of Palo Alto and City of Santa Clara, as well as to several of our other members based in the Bay Area,” said NCPA General Manager Randy Howard. “We are also working with other community choice energy programs, including East Bay Community Energy, which spans several cities in the Bay Area, and Pioneer Community Energy in Placer County.”

Headquartered in Roseville, Calif., NCPA is a nonprofit California joint powers agency established in 1968 to construct and operate renewable and low-emitting generating facilities and assist in meeting the wholesale energy needs of its 16 members.

The board of the American Public Power Association in 2017 approved a new category of membership for community choice aggregation programs.