California CCAs Have Signed 6,000 MW in Long-Term Clean Energy PPAs

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The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) says community choice aggregators (CCAs) in the state have, to date, signed long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for more than 6,000 MW of new-build clean energy resources.

The total includes almost 5,000 MW in executed renewable energy PPAs – an increase of 1,700 MW compared to a year ago – and more than 1,000 MW in battery energy storage contracts, a four-fold increase over last year. The increasing volumes reflect the important leadership position CCAs hold as the main drivers of new clean energy procurement in California.

“These new totals show that community choice energy providers are continuing to make great progress in securing the energy resources California needs to build a clean, affordable and reliable electric system,” says Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA. “At the same time, CCAs are driving economic recovery and job creation in the state when they are most needed.”

Last year, CCAs signed renewable energy and energy storage PPAs totaling 2,800 MW, bringing the grand total to more than 6,000 MW in new-build solar, wind, biogas, energy storage and geothermal energy. The geothermal power plant, slated for completion in 2021, will be the first new geothermal facility built in the California Independent System Operator balancing area in 30 years.

With record-breaking heat, rampant wildfires and public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) threatening the stability of California’s power grid, energy storage is becoming an ever more important reliability resource. Aggregators are stepping up to ensure more storage is added to the grid with the signing of long-term battery energy storage contracts totaling 1,072 MW/3,847 MWh – quadruple the amount CCAs had at this time last year. About 72% of the total is co-located with solar generation facilities that will charge the batteries, allowing clean energy to be discharged at times of peak demand to boost reliability.

Seventeen CCAs have collectively signed 117 long-term PPAs with new solar, wind, biogas, geothermal and energy storage facilities, up from 76 contracts in November 2019 – a 54% increase. The contract terms range from 10 to 25 years, or 17 years on average across all contracts. The clean energy resources are helping the CCAs meet their renewables portfolio standard (RPS) and long-term contracting requirements under SB 350, as well as local mandates set by CCA boards.

With several new CCA requests for offers (RFOs) currently underway and planned, the list of CCA long-term clean energy contracts is set to grow considerably in the coming year. Notably, a group of CCAs recently issued a joint RFO for 500 MW of long duration storage (LDS) with a minimum of eight hours of discharge duration. CCAs are procuring LDS to aid in meeting California’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Photo: MCE’s 1 MW Cooley Quarry solar farm located in Novato, Calif.

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