Electricity Markets

San Diego County, City of San Diego CCA efforts advance

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 10 voted 3-2 to continue exploring the idea of getting into the business of buying and selling electricity through community choice aggregation.

The action came after a feasibility study and business plan was presented to the board on the pros and cons of community choice energy, the county noted.

A CCA would offer those in the county’s unincorporated areas an alternative to buying power from investor-owned San Diego Gas and Electric, but SDG&E would still provide transmission and delivery services, the county said.

The feasibility report cited estimated start-up and operation costs, a comparison of projected CCA and SDG&E rates, potential environmental benefits and options on how to govern the program.

The study found that a CCA option that would provide 90% renewable energy by 2030 would save the average residential customer about $2 a month. Several governance options were considered, including the county operating on its own, forming a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) with other local cities or joining the City of San Diego’s regional JPA. All three options would allow for launching the CCA in 2021.

The action by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 10 directed staff to negotiate a JPA with potential city partners including Carlsbad. Staff was asked to return to the board with a CCA ordinance and JPA agreement on Oct. 15. According to local press reports, the county board also decided to approach the cities of Del Mar and Solana Beach to participate in the county CCA effort.

City councils take action tied to the City of San Diego’s regional JPA

Meanwhile, on a separate track, the City of San Diego is working to form a regional JPA with the cities of Encinitas, Chula Vista and La Mesa.

During the week of Sept. 9, the city councils of Encinitas, Chula Vista and La Mesa voted to move forward with plans to join the San Diego JPA.

“La Mesa and Chula Vista have officially jumped aboard the community choice aggregation, or CCA, bandwagon — and both cities have agreed accept an offer from the city of San Diego to join forces in a partnership to govern the nascent program,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Sept. 11.

In addition, the Encinitas City Council voted to enter the CCA program with cities including San Diego, Chula Vista and La Mesa, California’s Del Mar Times reported on Sept. 12.

On Sept. 12, the San Diego City Council’s Environment Committee voted in favor of sending the JPA to the San Diego City Council for final approval.

The City of Imperial Beach is scheduled to vote on joining the San Diego City JPA the week of Sept. 16, according to local press reports.

There are currently 19 operational CCA programs in California serving approximately 10 million customers.

Association offers new CCA program membership category

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