Battery Storage Project Represents Major Step in Implementing Oakland Clean Energy Initiative
Oakland, Calif. (June 5, 2019) – The East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) board of directors on June 5 approved a contract with Vistra Energy to receive resource adequacy capacity from a 20-megawatt (MW)/80-megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage project that is currently planned to be built as a partial replacement for an aging, jet fuel-fired power plant located in the heart of Oakland. EBCE is a Community Choice Energy provider that serves most of Alameda County and is committed to increasing clean power within its local communities.
The board’s approval of the energy storage contract with Vistra represents a major step in a joint purchasing effort by EBCE and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), dubbed the Oakland Clean Energy Initiative (OCEI), which aims to replace the 40-year-old “Oakland Power Plant,” which was acquired by Vistra in 2018, with clean energy resources. The storage project will provide EBCE with local resource adequacy – electricity-generating capacity that is available to serve demand even under stressful system conditions – and is contingent on approval of a transmission-related reliability contract with PG&E.
“EBCE is thrilled to play a crucial role in securing the energy resources that are needed in downtown Oakland to support a cleaner, more reliable energy system,” said Dan Kalb, EBCE Vice-Chair and Oakland City Councilmember. “The project is one of the many ways EBCE is driving innovative solutions that address climate change and provide direct benefits to the people living in our communities.”
This is not the first energy storage project for Vistra in California. The company is also developing the largest energy storage system of its kind in the world in Moss Landing, California. “We are always looking for great partnerships that benefit the community, as well as our company,” said Curt Morgan, CEO of Vistra. “We’re proud to have the opportunity to provide Oakland residents with renewable power while supporting the community’s clean energy transition.”
The 165-MW Oakland Power Plant, located at 50 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, is designated a “Reliability-Must-Run” facility by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which means it is needed for local reliability. In 2018, CAISO approved a plan to replace the power plant with local clean energy resources, including energy storage, energy efficiency, and electric system upgrades to ensure grid reliability is maintained.
The 10-year energy storage contract with Irving, Texas-based Vistra Energy resulted from a request for proposals (RFP) issued in June 2018. The contract will allow EBCE to meet its minimum target under the RFP, and the community choice provider anticipates signing additional contracts to exceed this volume. The standalone energy storage project will be located at the power plant site and is expected to begin commercial operation in January 2022.
“The Oakland Clean Energy Initiative will replace an old power plant with zero emission energy storage that will help to clean our air and improve our community’s health.” said Reverend Ken Chambers of West Side Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland and President/Founder of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County.
With a capacity of 20 MW/80 MWh, the energy storage system will charge by drawing electricity from the grid during off-peak hours, when demand is low, and then discharging electricity during peak hours to help maintain reliability in the Oakland area. “This new, energy storage project will be built in partnership with a local, union workforce and represents an important step forward in enabling a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy resources.” Bob Dean IBEW Local 1245
At the June 5 meeting, the EBCE board also approved a 56-MW solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with Tokyo-based Solar Frontier Americas, which is also the result of a competitive solicitation. The PPA has a 15-year term, with construction expected to begin in 2020. The solar facility will be located in Tulare County.
About East Bay Community Energy
East Bay Community Energy is a Community Choice Energy provider serving customers in Alameda County. Launched in 2018, EBCE serves approximately 550,000 electricity accounts in Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Oakland, Piedmont, San Leandro, Union City and Alameda County’s unincorporated areas. For more information about EBCE visit https://ebce.org/.
About Vistra Energy
Vistra Energy (NYSE: VST) is a premier, integrated power company based in Irving, Texas, combining an innovative, customer-centric approach to retail with a focus on safe, reliable, and efficient power generation. Through its retail and generation businesses which include TXU Energy, Homefield Energy, Dynegy, and Luminant, Vistra operates in 12 states and six of the seven competitive markets in the U.S., with about 5,400 employees. Vistra’s retail brands serve approximately 2.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers across five top retail states, and its generation fleet totals approximately 41,000 megawatts of highly efficient generation capacity, with a diverse portfolio of natural gas, nuclear, coal, solar, and battery storage facilities. The company is currently developing the largest battery energy storage system of its kind in the world – a 300-MW/1,200-MWh system in Moss Landing, California. Learn more at www.vistraenergy.com