CCA programs are beginning to stand up and be noted in the U.S., as more states and more local governments are looking at the programs as an effective means to incorporate more renewable energy into the energy mix, while circumventing utilities. The most recent PPA signed with a community choice aggregator is for a huge 105 MW-AC PV project, owned by sPower.
Community choice aggregator MCE has signed a 20-year PPA with sPower for the solar energy that is generated at the site. This energy can then be bought by companies and communities in Marin County, Napa County and the cities of Benica, El Cerrito, Lafayette, Richmond, San Pablo and Walnut Creek.
The power will be coming from sPower’s Antelope Expansion 2 solar plant in Lancaster, California, where more than 300,000 solar modules are being installed. The plant is also using a single-axis tracking system, while the whole site is expected to be operational by the end of 2018.
“We are excited for our first project with sPower,” commented MCE CEO Dawn Weisz. “Their reputation for responsible renewable energy development supports MCE’s goal to address climate change by offering our members responsibly-generated, competitively-priced clean power.”
The CCA trend is beginning to grow across six states in the U.S., with California leading the way, after the signing of the fifth CCA PPA in the state. The program allows local government and non-profits to circumvent the local utilities, by buying renewable energy in bulk directly from renewable developers, to then sell it on to groups of residents or companies that are unable to enter the power market directly.
MCE has been one of the most active community choice aggregators, serving customers in the East Bay and North Bay regions of California. Just last month it announced a deal to buy power from First Solar’s 40 MW Little Bear PV project in California’s central Valley, while the month before that it signed a deal to purchase power from a 100 MW project that Recurrent Energy is developing.
“MCE has raised the bar for all CCAs with their visionary sustainability initiatives,” said Hans Isern, sPower SVP Utility Power Marketing. “With projects like Antelope Expansion 2, sPower is providing important economic and workforce benefits. And MCE is able to offer its members the ability to make smart decisions about the environment and their energy sources.”