NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: CCAs face credit, other challenges to lead California's renewable energy growth

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    Wednesday, November 20, 2019

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: CCAs face credit, other challenges to lead California's renewable energy growth

    The new kid on the block: CCAs face credit, other challenges to lead California's renewable energy growth; Community Choice Aggregators say they will use resource diversity, distributed energy resources and load management to lead California beyond its 2030 renewables goals.

    Herman K. Trabish, July 8, 2019 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: CCAs continue to slowly work through the challenges of the energy transition and California policymakers continue to be concerned about the pace of their progress.

    California's Senate Bill (SB) 100 initiated a new phase in the state's nation-leading climate fight, with new goals for 60% renewables by 2030 in the power sector and zero-emissions economy-wide by 2045. A mostly new group of load serving entities (LSEs), primarily community choice aggregators (CCAs) and municipal utilities, will be charged with meeting these goals.

    San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) were previously the primary renewables-procuring LSEs, Large-scale Solar Association (LSA) Executive Director Shannon Eddy told Utility Dive. But the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) will not lead this new phase.

    "San Diego does not want to own generation and their load is disappearing. With PG&E's bankruptcy, it is not in a position to procure, and Edison wants to procure, but doesn't need new power," Eddy said. "That leaves the CCAs. They will procure because they need about four GWs of long-term renewable contracts by the end of 2023 to meet their RPS obligations."

    But CCAs face unique challenges. Their lack of established credit may prevent new procurement, some power sector stakeholders told Utility Dive. CCAs responded that they will use resource diversity, distributed energy resources (DER), and load management to lead California beyond its 2030 renewables goals to a new power sector paradigm. Load will grow

    Renewables growth faces more difficulties than during California's phase one, but load will grow and the new RPS will require renewables to meet it, according to January 2019 California Energy Commission (CEC) data. New renewables have been "mainly solar" and "over 75% of currently permitted projects are solar," CEC spokesperson Edward Ortiz emailed Utility Dive.

    In 2018, California was the national leader in residential (807.9 MW), non-residential (541.5 MW) and utility-scale (1,059.1 MW) solar additions, according to a June 2019 Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) report. But new long-term (over ten-year) renewables contracts fell from 2,231 MW in 2015 to 999 MW in 2016 and to only 546 MW in 2017, according to the CPUC's November 2018 RPS report. And the IOUs did not solicit new long-term contracts in 2018, the CPUC reported… click here for more

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