Community Energy Teams Up to Acquire 670 MW of New Power

By Published On: January 11, 2022

Three community energy providers have joined together to meet urgent clean energy requirements and are seeking bids for nearly 670 megawatts of fossil-free power that can be ready over the next two to four years.

The Jan. 7 request for proposals issued by Central Coast Community Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power is in response to an order by state regulators to bring online 11,500 MW of largely green resources to meet peak evening load on hot summer days by mid-decade.

The community energy groups are looking for new solar, wind, geothermal, demand response, and storage projects. Storage must be connected to clean generation.

Economies of scale

The trio released the joint proposal to attain economies of scale.

Each region has been assigned an amount of new capacity it must bring online quickly. The Central Coast’s total share is 291 MW; SVCE needs 237 MW and Sonoma 141 MW.

The California Public Utilities Commission has ordered all the utilities, community choice aggregators (CCAs) and other providers to add 2,000 MW of new power by Aug. 1 of next year, 6,000 MW by June 1, 2024, 1,500 MW by June 2025 and the final 2,000 MW by the following June. A chunk of these new resources is needed to make up for the 2025 closure of the 2,200 MW Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

“With the rapid growth of CCAs in California, the work of fulfilling the state’s climate goals is largely falling on public power providers like Sonoma Clean Power,” said Geof Syphers, Sonoma’s CEO. “This joint solicitation will help us maintain reliability while the state phases out reliance on nuclear and natural gas power.”

The three CCAs together represent nearly 895,000 customer accounts and serve more than 11,000 gigawatt hours of load.

Their peak demand combined is 2,215 MW. Central Coast’s is 900 MW, with 65% from nonresidential demand and the rest residential. Peak demand for SVCE is 850 MW, with 68% from businesses and other nonresidential customers. Sonoma’s peak load is 495 MW, with 53% of its customers nonresidential and 47% homes.

Proposals to the joint RFP are due at the end of this month.

The bids will be confidential.

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