Brief

San Francisco community choice aggregation program delayed

Dive Brief:

  • A plan to offer more renewable energy to San Francisco citizens will be delayed at least six weeks as the city sorts through more than 50 bids and gets additional approvals for offers which exceed a $10 million price cap, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. 
  • CleanPowerSF would be a community choice aggregation program offering a 100% renewable option, while supplying the power over a distribution system owned by Pacific Gas & Electric.
  • The program is backed by the city's Board of Supervisors, and members expressed disappointment in the progress made by the city Public Utilities Commission.

Dive Insight:

San Francisco's bid to run on renewable energy has been fraught with obstacles, the latest of which is tied into the city's Public Utilities Commission's hemming and hawing over assessing renewable energy bids for a proposed community choice aggregation program. 

Members of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors have expressed frustration with the PUC, which has indicated it will need more time to assess renewable energy bids and subsequently delay the startup of CleanPowerSF. 

Supervisor David Campos said at a meeting last week, “I don’t have a lot of confidence that we are going to meet any of the dates we are proposing ... I think we are playing into PG&E’s hands. This is a pretty significant change that’s very disappointing.”

Residents would default into CleanPowerSF's supply, which would offer two levels of renewable energy — both of which are greener than PG&E, the current provider. CleanPowerSF would offer a 100% renewable option, as well as an option that will fluctuate between 33% and 50% renewable. Currently, PG&E supplies the city with 27% renewable energy.

According to CleanPowerSF's web site, it will "automatically delivering this cleaner energy to San Francisco neighborhoods in phases starting in early 2016." But 52 bids must first be evaluated, and additional approvals will be needed because the most competitive offers would exeed a $10 million cap.

A risk assessment and third-party review must also be completed. 

“We all want to move forward as quickly as possible,” Supervisor John Avalos said.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly referred to the California Public Utilities Commission assessing renewable energy bids. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in fact oversees the community aggregation program.

 

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables