- Four local energy agencies in the San Francisco Bay area announced a joint solicitation today for the installation of more than 30 MW of energy storage for residential and business customers across three counties. The storage may be combined with new or existing solar systems.
- The solicitation comes as utility customers look to other energy options, including distributed solar and storage as planned power shutoffs to reduce the risk of wildfires caused by utility equipment show no signs of abating.
- The groups expect to choose partner vendor(s) in early 2020 with program details released in spring 2020 and projects "underway soon after with the intent of preempting the next fire season."
The four agencies are looking to the solicitation as a means to use local resources to meet California's Resource Adequacy requirements, which have "historically been filled through [purchases] from distant power plants," the groups said in a joint statement.
"This new program shifts the purchase of Resource Adequacy to new local solar power and battery storage systems that provide the benefits of backup power directly to local homes and businesses as well as bill savings," the groups continued.
The local energy agencies issuing the joint solicitation include East Bay Community Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy & Silicon Valley Power. The first three are Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) that serve Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. The fourth is a municipal utility that serves Santa Clara.
CCAs are proliferating around the country and have seen significant growth in California in the past three years. They were formed to leverage the buying power of large groups of electricity users to get lower electricity prices and meet other customer priorities. In deregulated power market states, this includes a demand for renewable, distributed and — increasingly — local generation.
The Nov. 5 solicitation is not prescriptive, but "includes goals of supporting low-income residents, customers with life-dependent medical equipment, and residents and businesses located in disadvantaged communities," the groups said.
"One potential model for the program is EBCE’s ten-year agreement with San Francisco-based Sunrun for 0.5 megawatts of energy storage in and around Oakland drawn from new solar plus storage installations on low-income housing," they continued.
Responses to the solicitation are due by December 23.