EBCE Expands Its Renewable Energy and Storage Portfolio with Two New Contracts and Memorandum of Understanding

Bringing total count to eleven new projects

Oakland, Calif. (September 27, 2019) – At the last public board meeting, the East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) board of directors approved an additional two agreements totaling 225 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity, along with 80 MW/160 MWh (megawatt-hour) of battery energy storage, to be built in Southern California. Additional storage may be added to one of the projects. Additionally, the board discussed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 80 MW of wind power in Alameda County. The projects build upon agreements approved by the EBCE board in June and July of this year. All approved projects combined total 550 MW of new renewable energy generation and at least 137.5 MW/390 MWh of energy storage. 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 two new power purchase agreements for solar in southern California are both expected to be operational in December 2022. Each contract includes a contribution to a Community Investment Fund and a commitment to use union and/or prevailing wage labor. Below is a summary of the agreement terms:

  • sPower Solar + Storage Project: 20-year agreement for 125 MW of solar power and 80 MW/160 MWh of battery storage in southern California, developed by Salt Lake City-based sPower
  • Edwards Solar Project: 15-year agreement for 100 MW of solar power and virtual storage in Kern County, developed by San Diego-based Terra-Gen

The sPower Solar + Storage Project is a 125 MW solar project with 80 MW/160 MWh of battery storage. EBCE is purchasing all output from the project including energy, renewable energy credits, and resource adequacy. In addition, EBCE will have full control to charge and discharge the battery to help bring energy into the evening hours when the solar is not generating due to the sun setting. The project is being developed by sPower, a national leader in the development, construction, and operation of solar power facilities.

The Edwards Solar Project is a 100 MW solar project on land that is part of Edwards Airforce Base. Terra-Gen was selected by Edwards Airforce Base as sole developer of solar on their lands for approximately 600 MW of total solar development. In addition, this project is a solar plus virtual storage contract that allows Terra-Gen the option to install battery storage and manage the charge and discharge, providing EBCE with negative pricing protection. ​EBCE has the right to procure resource adequacy in the event storage is added.   ​

EBCE’s Board also discussed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Brookfield Renewable Partners regarding an 80 MW wind project in Alameda County. The project is in Livermore and is a repower of a former wind project that has been fully decommissioned. The expected date of operation is December 2021.

These new approved agreements supplement a growing portfolio of renewable energy and storage projects across California, which are the result of a competitive solicitation run by EBCE to deliver on its promise to increase the use of renewable energy. The portfolio has a mix of 10 to 20-year contracts along with a variety of pricing structures and contract provisions to help EBCE diversify its risk related to geographic or technology concentration. On a portfolio basis the solar projects will cost EBCE approximately $22/MWh, with a 2% inflation adjustment over time. Pricing for individual projects is confidential. Additionally, solar developers have agreed to contribute over $1,000,000 towards EBCE’s Community Investment Fund plus additional volunteer and education-related training hours.

Below is a summary of all new long-term agreements signed in 2019.

Portfolio Summary

  Developer Technology Nameplate MW Storage MW County Expected Completion Term (years)
Contracted Salka Energy Wind 57.5 N/A Alameda 12/1/2020 20
Clearway Energy Group Solar 112 N/A Kern 12/31/2020 15
Solar Frontier Americas Solar 56 N/A Tulare 12/31/2021 15
EDPR Renewables North America Solar + Storage 100 30 Fresno 12/31/2022 20
sPower Solar + Storage 125 80 SoCal 12/31/2022 20
Terra-Gen Solar + Virtual Storage 100 TBD Kern 12/31/2022 15
Evaluating Clearway Energy Group Wind 43 N/A Alameda 12/31/2021 15
Brookfield Renewable Partners Wind 80 N/A Alameda 12/31/2021 20
OCEI* Vistra Energy In front of meter storage and resource adequacy 20 20 Alameda 1/1/2022 10
esVolta In front of meter storage and resource adequacy 7 7 Alameda 12/1/2021 13
SunRun Behind the meter storage and resource adequacy 0.5 0.5 Alameda 1/1/2022 10

*OCEI – Oakland Clean Energy Initiative

 

Additional information from previous press releases can be found at these links:

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About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and is one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California. CCAs are expediting the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/.

About sPower
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, sPower is one of the fastest-growing utility-scale renewable energy companies in the United States. sPower owns and operates more than 155 utility and commercial distribution electrical generation systems and has a portfolio of solar and wind assets exceeding 13.0 GW between operation, construction, and development. As a vertically integrated platform, with technology neutrality, sPower develops projects at the lowest cost; funds projects from development through operations; and provides access to a mature, highly viable pipeline of projects. sPower is owned by a joint venture partnership between The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation. For more information, visit www.spower.com.

About Terra-Gen
Terra-Gen, LLC is a leading U.S. developer, owner, and operator of utility-scale renewable energy projects in North America. Terra-Gen owns approximately 1,180 MWs of wind, geothermal and solar generating capacity in operation across 33 renewable power facilities throughout the United States. Terra-Gen was formed in 2007 and is wholly owned by Energy Capital Partners.  For more information, visit www.terra-gen.com.

About Brookfield
Brookfield Renewable Partners (Brookfield) operates one of the world’s largest publicly traded, pure-play renewable power platforms. Brookfield’s portfolio consists of hydroelectric, wind, solar and storage facilities in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, and totals over 17,000 megawatts of installed capacity and an 8,000-megawatt development pipeline. Brookfield Renewable is listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges. For more information, visit https://bep.brookfield.com.

 

EBCE Expands Its Renewable Energy and Storage Portfolio with Three New Contracts

Contracts include energy storage on low-income housing

Oakland, Calif. (July 17, 2019) – The East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) board of directors tonight approved another three agreements for 112 megawatts (MW) of power from a new solar facility, along with 7.5 MW of battery energy storage, to be built in Kern and Alameda Counties. The projects build upon 213.5 MW of new renewable energy projects and 50 MW of energy storage approved by the EBCE board through four contracts in June. The seven agreements combined total 325.5 MW of new renewable energy generation and 57.5 MW of energy storage. EBCE is a Community Choice Energy provider that serves most of Alameda County and is committed to increasing clean power within its local communities.

Two of the new agreements expand the Oakland Clean Energy Initiative (OCEI), which aims to replace the 40-year-old “Oakland Power Plant” in Jack London Square with clean energy resources. The two storage projects will provide EBCE with local resource adequacy – electricity-generating capacity that is available to serve demand.

One project will provide 7 MW of resource adequacy from energy storage through an agreement with esVolta, LP and is contingent on a joint purchasing effort with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). Another project with Sunrun, Inc. will be to develop several megawatts of solar and more than two megawatt-hours of batteries on more than 500 low-income housing units by 2022. This will deliver 500 kilowatts of grid reliability capacity to EBCE over a 10-year contracted period as a standalone agreement.

The EBCE and Sunrun project represents a leading example in the United States of home solar and battery systems directly contributing to the replacement of a retiring fossil fuel-fired power peaker plant.

The third agreement is a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 112 MW of solar energy from a new installation in Kern County. In addition to the solar PPA, the developer, Clearway Energy Group, has also agreed to offer EBCE an exclusive right to purchase output from a 43 MW wind project in Alameda County.

Below is a summary of the most recent agreements:

  • Oakland Clean Energy Initiative Project #2: 13-year agreement for 7 MW of energy storage in Oakland with California-based esVolta, LP
  • Oakland Clean Energy Initiative Project #3: 10-year agreement with San Francisco-based Sunrun for 0.5 MW of energy storage in and around Oakland drawn from new solar + storage installations on low-income housing
  • Rosamond Central Solar: 15-year agreement for 112 MW of solar energy in Kern County with San Francisco-based Clearway Energy Group, along with a right to purchase 43 MW of wind power from Alameda County

Randolph Mann, President of esVolta, said “Energy storage technology is helping enable California’s transition to a cleaner, lower carbon electricity system. We are proud to support EBCE’s innovative Oakland Clean Energy Initiative with a new battery project planned for the West Oakland neighborhood, which will provide emissions free power capacity and strengthen the local grid.”

“Sunrun is excited to partner with East Bay Community Energy to help pave the way towards a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system,” said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Our company is built on the foundation that solar energy should be accessible to everyone, particularly those communities most impacted by pollution and which today lack access to clean energy. Shifting from an aging, dirty fossil fuel power plant to energy provided by home solar and batteries will ensure that West Oakland residents are at the center of the clean energy transition.”

In 2018, Sunrun established a goal to develop a minimum of 100 megawatts of solar on affordable multi-family housing, where 80% of tenants fall below 60% of the area median income, during the next decade in California. This project will support Sunrun’s goals while also further expanding access to clean solar energy and battery storage for low-income EBCE customers in Oakland and Alameda County.

“As California continues its push toward 100% clean energy, we’re thrilled to partner with CCAs like East Bay Community Energy that will play a crucial role in that transition,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway Energy Group. “Rosamond Central Solar represents a huge step forward for the state’s clean energy and climate goals. We’re proud that this project will deliver affordable clean energy to the communities that EBCE serves.”

“California has critical goals for addressing climate change and these clean energy contracts are accelerating our progress towards reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions on a shorter timeframe. Our communities are demanding meaningful change and EBCE is making that happen,” said EBCE Board Chair and Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb.

New agreements supplement a growing portfolio of renewable energy and storage projects across California, that are the result of a competitive solicitation run by EBCE to deliver on its promise to increase the use of renewable energy.

The agreements signed last month include:

  • Oakland Clean Energy Initiative Project #1: 10-year agreement for 20 MW of energy storage with Texas-based Vistra Energy
  • Summit Wind Project: 20-year agreement to purchase 57.5 MW of wind energy from the Altamont Winds LLC project near Livermore in Alameda County, from San Diego-based Salka LLC in partnership with a global private equity firm
  • Luciana Project: 15-year agreement to purchase 56 MW of solar energy from Japan-based Solar Frontier Americas for a project in Tulare County
  • Sonrisa Project: 20-year agreement to purchase 100 MW of solar energy and 30 MW of energy storage from EDPR CA Solar Park VI LLC in Fresno County, in partnership with Portugal-based EDP Renewables North America

EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and is one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California. CCAs are expediting the climate action goals of their communities and those of California.

Additional information from previous press releases can be found at these links:

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About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is the local electricity provider created by the votes of 11 City Councils and the County of Alameda Board of Supervisors to provide low cost, cleaner power to our community. Launching to residential customers in November 2018, EBCE joined 19 other Community Choice Energy programs operating across California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/.

About esVolta, LP
esVolta is a developer, owner and operator of utility-scale energy storage projects across North America. The company’s portfolio of operational plus contracted projects exceeds 500 MWh of capacity, and the firm is developing a large pipeline of future storage projects. esVolta has a strategic procurement arrangement with Powin Energy Corporation. More information about esVolta is available at www.esVolta.com.

About Sunrun
Sunrun (Nasdaq:RUN) is the nation’s largest residential solar, storage and energy services company. With a mission to create a planet run by the sun, Sunrun has led the industry since 2007 with its solar-as-a-service model, which provides clean energy to households with little to no upfront cost and at a saving compared to traditional electricity. The company designs, installs, finances, insures, monitors and maintains the systems, while families receive predictable pricing for 20 years or more. The company also offers a home solar battery service, Sunrun Brightbox, that manages household solar energy, storage and utility power. For more information, please visit: www.sunrun.com.

EBCE Signs Over 200 Megawatts of New Renewable Energy Generation and 50 Megawatts of Energy Storage, All Located in California

Projects include wind power near Livermore and energy storage in Oakland

Oakland, Calif. – In a major step towards supporting the energy goals of California and local policies, East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) signed four contracts for new renewable energy projects on Monday, June 24th at an event in Oakland’s Jack London Square. All told, EBCE has this month signed contracts totaling 213.5 MW with new California-based renewable energy facilities, and 50 MW of energy storage, delivering on its commitment to drive the development of new clean energy resources and green jobs in Alameda County and beyond, and to address climate change by reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. All projects are located within California.

The projects include:

  • Oakland Clean Energy Initiative Project #1: 10-year agreement for 20 MW of energy storage with Texas-based Vistra Energy
  • Summit Wind Project: 20-year agreement to purchase 57.5 MW of wind energy from the Altamont Winds LLC project near Livermore in Alameda County, from San Diego-based Salka LLC in partnership with a global private equity
  • Luciana Project: 15-year agreement to purchase 56 MW of solar energy from Japan-based Solar Frontier Americas for a project in Tulare County
  • Sonrisa Project: 20-year agreement to purchase 100 MW of solar energy and 30 MW of energy storage from EDPR CA Solar Park VI LLC in Fresno County, in partnership with Portugal-based EDP Renewables North America

Speakers at the event included Oakland City Council Member Dan Kalb, Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, Senator Nancy Skinner, California Public Utility Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and Margaret Borden and Brian Beveridge of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.

The Oakland Clean Energy Initiative (OCEI) 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 transmission-related reliability.

The Summit Wind Project located in Altamont Pass near Livermore is located within EBCE’s territory and reflects the community choice provider’s commitment to invest in local, clean energy resources and deliver local benefits. The project will entail repowering (replacing) a former Altamont Pass wind farm which consisted of older less efficient wind turbines with ones that are state-of-the-art. Completion and operation of the Summit Wind Project is planned for late 2020. The repowering project will replace 569 one-hundred-kilowatt turbines with 23 modern turbines. Once completed, the repowered wind farm will generate more than 60 percent of its power for Alameda County during peak hours, including the afternoon and high-demand summer months, producing enough clean energy on average to power about 30,000 homes per year.

Here are several comments made by speakers at the event:

Mayor Libby Schaaf shares this comment in relation to the 10-year agreement for 20 MW of energy storage, “This is yet another reason for Alameda County residents to choose East Bay Community Energy. It is cheaper, it is cleaner, and it is beholden to the community, not to shareholders.”

“I come from Livermore and I have to look at the Altamont every day.  I have to see those windmills and it pains me to know that energy is leaving our area and going to other places. So now we’re developing our own projects.  We are committed to delivering clean energy for an affordable price here in Alameda County”, says EBCE Board Chair and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty.

Margaret Borden, Founder of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, says, “This is about equity, for me.  It’s about time that this community has a level playing field with all the other communities when it comes down to having energy.”

A recording of the event is available here.

Additional information is available in the following press releases:

Senator Nancy Skinner, Margaret Borden, City Council Member Dan Kalb, Mayor Libby Schaaf, Supervisor Scott Haggerty

Mayor Libby Schaaf, Senator Nancy Skinner, City Council Member Dan Kalb, Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen, Margaret Borden, Supervisor Scott Haggerty, Brian Beveridge, Anne-Olivia Eldred, EBCE CEO Nick Chaset

 

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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.

EBCE Green Lights Over 155 MW of New Renewable Energy Projects and 30 MW of Energy Storage

Newly approved contracts to accelerate growth of renewable energy in California
and help local communities achieve climate goals

Oakland, Calif. (June 19, 2019) – The East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) board of directors today approved two power purchase agreements for a combined 157.5-Megawatts (MW) from new wind and solar facilities, along with 30 MW of battery energy storage, to be built in Alameda and Fresno Counties.  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 EBCE board approved the following contracts:

  • Summit Wind Project: 20-year agreement to purchase 57.5 MW of wind energy from the Altamont Winds LLC project near Livermore in Alameda County from San Diego-based Salka LLC in partnership with a global private equity firm
  • Sonrisa Solar Park: 20-year agreement to purchase 100 MW of solar energy and 30 MW of energy storage from the Sonrisa Solar Park in Fresno County, owned and will be operated by EDP Renewables North America

“More and more, communities want to aggressively address climate change and reducing the use of fossil fuels in our power mix is a big part of that. EBCE is adding new renewable energy generation capacity to the grid that will, in time, serve to phase out our reliance on fossil fuel while also stabilizing our energy costs,” said County Supervisor and EBCE Board Chair, Scott Haggerty.

The Summit Wind Project located in Altamont Pass near Livermore is located within EBCE’s territory and reflects the community choice provider’s commitment to invest in local, clean energy resources and deliver local benefits. The project will entail repowering (replacing) a former Altamont Pass wind farm which consisted of older less efficient wind turbines with ones that are state-of-the-art.

“The environmental and the economic benefits of wind energy have become evident to communities in California and across the country,” said Salka Chief Executive Officer Jiddu Tapia. “With no fuel costs and low operating expenses, wind power helps to reduce electricity costs, giving consumers a better choice for their energy dollar. Clean energy projects like this create local jobs and spur local investment while providing an affordable, dependable way for EBCE to meet its expanding power needs for years to come.”

“Energy storage plays an important role in creating a more flexible and reliable grid system, and EDP Renewables is pleased to partner with EBEC to ultimately bring its first renewable energy project coupled with storage online in North America,” said Miguel Prado, EDP Renewables North America CEO.  “Solar and wind energy projects that include a storage component are the way of the future in the clean energy sector, and EDPR looks forward to developing additional multi-technology projects to increase efficiency and provide greater balance in energy supply.”

Completion and operation of the Summit Wind Project is planned for late 2020. The repowering project will replace 569 one-hundred-kilowatt turbines with 23 modern turbines. Once completed, the repowered wind farm will generate more than 60 percent of its power for Alameda County during peak hours, including the afternoon and high-demand summer months, producing enough clean energy on average to power about 30,000 homes per year. Construction on the Sonrisa Project will begin as early as December 2021 and be operational in 2022. Both contracts are a result of a competitive solicitation and review process that was initiated in 2018.

The board’s approval of the two power purchase agreements (PPAs) brings the total tally of long-term contracts approved by EBCE this month to four. On June 5, the board approved a contract with Vistra Energy to receive resource adequacy capacity from a 20 MW battery energy storage project that is currently planned to be built as a partial replacement for an aging, fossil fuel-fired power plant located in the heart of Oakland. The board also gave a green light to a 56 MW solar PPA with Solar Frontier Americas to be located in Tulare County.

All told, EBCE has this month approved contracts totaling 213.5 MW with new California-based renewable energy facilities and 50 MW of energy storage, delivering on its commitment to drive the development of new clean energy resources and green jobs in Alameda County and beyond, and to address climate change by reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county.

EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and is one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California. “The agency’s ability to contract for new renewable energy projects so soon after launch is an achievement for the agency and shows the strength of CCA programs throughout the state in furthering and expediting the climate action goals of their communities and those of California,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of the California Community Choice Association.

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About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is the local electricity provider created by the votes of 11 City Councils and the County of Alameda Board of Supervisors to provide low cost, cleaner power to our community. Launching to residential customers in November 2018, EBCE joined 19 other Community Choice Energy programs operating across California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/.

About EDP Renewables (EDPR)
EDP Renewables North America LLC (“EDPR NA”) and its subsidiaries develop, construct, own, and operate wind farms and solar parks throughout North America.  Headquartered in Houston, Texas, with 48 wind farms, five solar parks, and 13 regional and development offices across North America, EDPR NA has developed more than 6,700 megawatts (MW) and operates more than 6,100 MW of renewable energy projects.  EDPR NA is owned by EDP Renováveis, S.A. (EDPR).  For more information, visit www.edprnorthamerica.com.

EDP Renewables (Euronext: EDPR) is a global leader in the renewable energy sector and the world’s fourth-largest wind energy producer.  With a sound development pipeline, first class assets, and market-leading operating capacity, EDPR has undergone exceptional development in recent years and is currently present in 14 markets (Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, the UK, and the U.S.).  Energias de Portugal, S.A. (“EDP”), the principal shareholder of EDPR, is a global energy company and a leader in value creation, innovation, and sustainability.  EDP has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 12 consecutive years.  For further information, visit www.edpr.com.

About Salka LLC
Salka LLC, founded in 2013, is a renewable energy company focused on creating the energy of tomorrow by developing, constructing, operating, and arranging financing for utility scale renewable energy projects today. Over the last decade, the San Diego-based Salka management team has developed, constructed and arranged financing for 11 different utility scale wind farms and solar plants resulting in over 1,000 megawatts of clean renewable energy located in both the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.salkaenergy.com.

 

 

EBCE Approves Resource Adequacy Contract with Vistra Energy for New Battery Energy Storage Project, Paving Way for Shut Down of Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plant in Oakland

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.

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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

EBCE Launches With Half a Million Customers

EBCE set a record when it started serving 500,000 residential customers in Alameda county in November, making it — at least temporarily — the largest community choice aggregator (CCA) in California. (Clean Power Alliance in Southern California will take that mantle in early 2019 when they launch.)

The switchover itself set a record — the largest single switch of customers from an investor-owned utility to a CCA. The handoff went smoothly and residential customers begin receiving charges from EBCE this month. This is in addition to the 50,000 non-residential accounts that EBCE has served since June 2018.

But we are still spreading the word about EBCE’s cleaner and greener power, making sure our new customers are aware of the change. One way we are doing that is through town hall events we hosted in Livermore, San Lorenzo, Hayward, and Fremont.

But we are planning more, including a Spanish language event with the Unity Council and a Chinese language event in Oakland’s Chinatown. To learn the exact dates and locations when they are announced, sign up for our email list.

To celebrate our kickoff, we hosted a launch party on December 3 at Impact Hub Oakland. Notable guests included our board members Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, Oakland City Council Member Dan Kalb, Emeryville City Council Member Dianne Martinez, and our board chair and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty. (See his Faces of EBCE profile to learn more about Scott.)

The gathering heard short speeches from the chair and vice chair of our Community Advisory Committee, Anne Olivia Eldred, from the California Nurses Association, and Megan O’Neil, with the Local Clean Energy Alliance.

California Energy Commissioner David Hochschild also came. “Our mission at the CEC is to make California’s energy system clean, reliable and affordable,” he told the group. “We look forward to working with EBCE as a partner in achieving that goal.”

Myth of the Month: CCAs don’t sign long-term RE contracts

In this new feature, we explore myths around community choice aggregation. If you have a suggestion for myth of the month, send it to info@ebce.org.

As community choice aggregation (CCA) ramps up around the state, a myth has taken hold that CCAs are not signing contracts for new energy supply. But new data released shows that CCAs have been busy contracting for over 2000 MW of new renewable energy, with more to come.

“These programs produce very little new renewable energy, instead buying from existing sources, including out-of-state wind and solar farms,” wrote Jerry Sanders, former mayor of San Diego and head of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

So what is really going on? As customers departed in droves for CCAs throughout 2017 and 2018, investor-owned utilities have been left with an excess of the renewable energy they need to comply with the state renewable portfolio standard (RPS). As a result, IOUs did not conduct annual RPS solicitations in 2016 or 2017, nor did they plan to undertake solicitations in 2018, according to the CPUC’s RPS annual report, released in November.

The report says that the nine CCAs in service in 2017 had an average RPS position of 49%, also well ahead of RPS schedules. But load served by CCAs is rapidly increasing, with ten new CCAs starting up in 2018. “As the RPS requirements increase and more CCAs fully come online,” the CPUC report says, “there will be a near-term renewable procurement need.”

In total, the CPUC says CCAs will need to procure “approximately 6,900 GWh beginning in 2020,” plus more to meet the 60% RPS target by 2030.

And CCAs are busy doing exactly that.

Two Gigawatts, So Far

The California Association of Community Choice Aggregators (CalCCA) recently released data showing that six CCAs have so far signed long-term contracts for over 2000 MW of new renewables. Of the 56 contracts they tallied, 38 are for 20 years or longer. Only three are less than 10 years.

CCAs passed the two gigawatt milestone in October when Monterey Bay Community Power and Silicon Valley Clean Energy jointly approved contracts for 278 MW of solar, coupled with 340 megawatt hours (MWh) of battery storage for two separate projects to be built in Kern and Kings Counties. That is the largest solar + storage procurement to date in California. That same month, Peninsula Clean Energy broke ground on a 200 MW solar project supported with a 25 year contract.

Altogether, CCAs signed up for about 1000 MW of new renewables under long-term contracts in 2017. And more contracts are on the way. So far, every CCA in California plans to procure more renewables than is required under the RPS, and sooner. Most are being driven by their member communities. Ten communities in the Clean Power Alliance (CPA), for example, recently voted to go 100 percent renewable as soon as CPA starts operations next year.

CCAs that are just getting started (like EBCE) are proving ready to solicit long-term contracts right out of the gate. In June of this year, even before its residential launch, EBCE issued a solicitation for multi-hundreds of megawatts of California-based renewable energy from new projects, with at least 20 MW from local projects.

Contracts big and small

The contracts signed to date support 1360 MW of new solar, 741 MW of new wind, and 12 MW of new biogas. Interestingly, all but one of the projects are in California, belying the related myth that CCAs are supporting “out of state” power suppliers. (See map below.)


Timeline of operation dates for CCA-supported new renewables

MCE Clean Energy, the oldest CCA, has signed the most contracts, at just over 900 MW. MCE’s diverse portfolio includes 36 contracts ranging from 3 to 25 years in length, and from 60 kilowatts to 160 MW. Over 400 MW of their new renewables capacity came online this year. MCE got a favorable review and rating from Moody’s Investors Service in May, the first CCA to to be rated.


Signed contracts for wind, solar, and biogas

Monterey Bay Community Power and Silicon Valley Clean Energy have teamed up on their procurement efforts, signing contracts for three big wind and solar projects — coupled with batteries — that will come online in 2021. The average length for those contracts is 16 years. Monterey Bay is in its first year of operations, serving residential customers on July 1, 2018, while Silicon Valley went live in April 2017.

One of the smallest CCAs, Lancaster Clean Energy, has set “a lofty goal of becoming the nation’s first net-zero city.” Lancaster, a desert town of 160,000, was the first city in America to require all new homes to have solar, and has converted all city buses to electric. Lancaster Clean Energy took a step toward that goal by signing a 20-year contract for a 10 MW solar farm just outside of town, enough to power 1800 homes.


Most contracts are 15 years or longer

While 2000 megawatts is an impressive start, more needs to be — and will be — procured. Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 100 into law in September, committing the entire state to at least 60 percent renewable and 100 percent zero-carbon power by 2045. Community choice aggregators will be on the front lines of achieving that goal as quickly, as reliably, and as affordably as possible.

Faces of EBCE: Scott Haggerty

Scott HaggertyAbout ten years ago, Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty was sitting at a board meeting for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District when he first heard the concept of community choice aggregation. Marin Clean Energy was getting ready to launch, helped along by a planning grant from BAAQMD.

“The thought of sustainable energy at a reduced price was attractive to me,” he says now. “So I talked to my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors about their interest in setting up a CCA, and they were willing to go along with it. They were all very excited about seeing something like this happen.”

Alameda County served as the “angel investor” for EBCE, funding the planning necessary to get it off the ground. County staffers Bruce Jensen and Chris Bazar did most of the leg work. This helped get the buy in of potential member cities. “They saw how great a CCA could be and it wasn’t going to cost them to be at the table,” he says.

“I live with the motto go big or go home,” he says. “I wanted to have the entire county move forward on CCA.”

Haggerty was the right person for the job of recruiting so many partners. He is a consummate organizer and joiner, having served on a whopping 47 boards and commissions over the years. That has included stints as the chair of the board of BAAQMD, chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and as President of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).

He has spent 22 years on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, currently serving his sixth elected four-year term. His district includes the cities of Livermore, Dublin, and most of Fremont, plus unincorporated areas of East Alameda County.

He has had a strong focus on transportation issues, and was instrumental in extending BART to Warm Springs, among many other things. But he says the creation of EBCE is “one of my greatest accomplishments,” especially for the climate change and public health benefits.

Scott Haggerty Speaking

“I think back to when I was a kid in Fremont, the air quality was horrible,” he recalls. “We’ve done a lot to clean the air but there is still a lot to do. The climate is changing, we see it everyday in wildfires and storms. We have to react to this.”

But he sees climate change as an opportunity as well.

“As we look at solar and wind and other ways to generate energy, there is a whole new economy there,” he says. “Through our Local Development Business Plan we can train the next generation of electrical workers, people who can be involved in the sustainable energy economy.”

“We have to be careful, because our core mission is sustainable power at a lower price,” he adds. “But we can reinvest in the community and bring a whole new economy to the Bay Area.”

Right now Haggerty is most concerned about a seamless launch of service to residential customers, and making sure customers accept and trust EBCE.

He also worries about the risk of unhelpful policies from the state.

“I’ve become frustrated about the grip that PG&E and other utilities have on the legislature. I hope moving forward that legislators look for ways to help CCAs thrive and not hold them back.”

Haggerty points to the fact that CCAs reflect their communities and voters, and provide citizens with a whole new level of say about their energy future.

“Community energy has brought the decision to the local level,” he says. “You can stop the mayor in your market and say ‘when are you going to buy more renewable energy?’ It’s an amazing change.They never had access to the people making decisions before.”

“This is the wave of the future, this is California,” he says. “We can show the nation how to cut carbon and continue to grow the economy.”

“Everything I’ve done in 22 years in office is to try to make Alameda County a better place. When I talk to high school kids in their classes I tell them I don’t worry about them, but about their children’s children. I have kids and they will have my grandkids. I want to leave this world in a shape so they can have the great life that I enjoyed.”

EBCE Runs Demand Response Pilot Program

EBCE executed its first demand response pilot program this summer, paying out over $100,000 to customers that cut demand during peak periods.

The program was modeled on existing peak pricing demand response programs, where customers respond to notifications of “peak day events,” or hours of expected high demand with high spot market power prices and potential grid stability issues. Cutting demand at those peak times helps with grid stability and reduces costs for all customers, not just those who respond.

The existing PG&E program, which is called Peak Day Pricing (PDP), is not available to customers served by CCAs. EBCE took over service for over 50,000 commercial and industrial customers in Alameda County in June, and a number of them didn’t want to lose the PDP option.

So EBCE put together their own version of the program, at least on a pilot basis. The goal was to retain customers, see what it’s like to run the program, and make sure it works.

Taj Ait-Laoussine, Vice President for Technology and Data Analytics, says EBCE focused on two tariff classes, for large commercial and industrial customers.

“Most other customer types were either not aware they were enrolled in PDP rates, or were not changing their behavior in response to notifications,” he says. “But big customers were responsive, and we knew they could deliver bigger results.”

For the pilot, EBCE simply followed PG&E’s lead on when the events were called, which were based on weather conditions across the service territory. EBCE set up systems to notify customers of events via email and text messages.

In all, EBCE called eight events in June and July and paid out over $100,000 in incentives. “Retaining customers that could alter their load shapes in response to demand response incentives was a win for all of EBCE, since they can cut demand during peak hours,” says Ait-Laoussine. “That helps us in reducing our overall procurement costs, since we reduce our exposure during potentially volatile hours.”

load shape of event days versus non event days chart

Ait-Laoussine says EBCE is conducting more research to determine what an ongoing program might look like. “We have to make sure it is tied into our procurement strategy, based on EBCE peak load periods and needs rather than PG&E’s, and develop a more robust notification system. Plus, we need to better identify customers that could provide meaningful impact while also benefiting from it, based on their business, their load, and their flexibility.”

While the pilot was a success, EBCE could develop a different approach to demand response. “Our goal is to flatten our load shape and to reduce financial risk in peak hours,” says Ait-Laoussine. “And there are different ways to do that.”

Peak season is in summer only, so EBCE has until next May to launch their new offering.

In the News

WHY DOES YOUR DECEMBER ELECTRICITY BILL LOOK DIFFERENT?, Berkeleyside, December 11

Some Berkeley residents were puzzled when they opened their electric bills this month, noticing a new “East Bay Community Energy” charge. Unless they opted out, Berkeley ratepayers were automatically switched over to a new electricity provider in November. EBCE is run by Alameda County, which purchases and provides the energy instead of PG&E, which still handles billing and manages power lines.

COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION CAN ACCELERATE LOCAL SOLAR GROWTH IN CITIES AND COUNTIES, Solar Power World, December 4

CCAs are growing, especially in California. The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA) announced in November that CCAs in the state have signed long-term contracts with new renewable energy facilities totaling more than 2 GW, “reflecting a strong commitment by CCAs to drive clean energy and economic development in California and help the state achieve ambitious decarbonization and climate change goals,” according to a CalCCA press release.

COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATION PUTS COMMUNITIES IN CONTROL OF THEIR ELECTRICITY, Union of Concerned Scientists, September 10

CCAs offer an alternative to traditional utilities and are designed to give communities a voice in where their electricity comes from. In California, many CCAs are striving to provide their customers with more renewable energy at lower costs than traditional utilities.

COMMUNITY CHOICE IS DRIVING CALIFORNIA’S PRECOCIOUS ENERGY REVOLUTION, Forbes, August 2

California is on track to meet its clean-energy goals a decade early thanks in part to communities demanding and delivering renewable energy faster and cheaper than utilities can, according to a report released this morning. A growing number of Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) in California are not only delivering a higher percentage of renewable energy than utilities, they’re also causing utilities to offer a higher percentage, according to the report by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.