By Ted Bardacke, Executive Director, Clean Power Alliance
Clean Power Alliance (CPA) is the fifth largest electricity provider in California and the single largest provider of 100% renewable energy to customers in the nation. We take our responsibility to reliably integrate renewable energy into the grid very seriously, as we believe the future of our state, our nation, and the environmental health of our planet requires a seismic shift toward 100%.
Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs), which allow communities to choose their own electricity sources, such as Clean Power Alliance, throughout California have been adding renewable energy to the state’s power grid at a rapid pace. These additions are necessary to meet state and federal requirements, as well as prepare for the impending closure of the massive 2,200-megawatt Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, located in Avila Beach, Calif.
Here at CPA, our focus is on reliably integrating high levels of renewable energy into the electricity grid to meet the state’s demand and reduce the need for rolling blackouts during climate-induced heatwaves, while also getting closer to its goal of carbon neutrality. Our progress is most evident with three announcements in just a month’s time. On September 30, we joined Hecate Grid, a leader in developing local energy storage projects, as they marked the completion of the Johanna Energy Storage System (ESS) in Santa Ana, CA. The 20-megawatt (MW), 80-megawatt hour (MWh) Johanna ESS is a grid-connected, stand-alone source of short-term energy storage designed to reduce grid congestion.
On October 15, we announced that CPA will begin receiving energy from the High Desert Solar-plus-Storage facility, which will provide 300,000 MWh of clean power each year to CPA customers, enough to power 46,904 Southern California homes and avoid 72,660 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
And in early November, CPA will begin receiving 100 MW of clean energy storage capacity from Terra-Gen’s Edwards Sanborn Solar-plus-Storage facility. The 15-year contract will add flexible new-build storage capacity to CPA’s already diversified energy mix which includes wind, hydropower, geothermal, solar, solar-plus-storage and standalone storage.
We will also soon announce the many member agency locations which will begin receiving clean backup power for their essential facilities, via our Power Ready program. CPA is partnering with these agencies to install solar and battery storage at an essential facility of the member agency’s choice. These sola
and storage systems will provide community resilience by serving as clean backup power during natural disasters, investor-owned utility public safety power shutoff events, or other outages, while also providing benefits to CPA during normal operation in the form of load shifting and demand response.
CPA understands the importance of reliability as California balances the swift implementation of renewable energy onto its electricity grid, which remains dependent upon fossil fuels to meet the needs of its population. However, we are not alone in helping create the future of the California power grid. We enjoy watching as other CCAs throughout the state join us in creating a reliable carbon-free energy future. •
To view Clean Power Alliance’s 2020 Impact Report, visit: https://bit.ly/3GzwM4u or for complete
information regarding CPA visit cleanpoweralliance.org.