EBCE Table o'PPAs

With the approval of two new power-purchase agreements by its board, announced Sept. 27, community choice aggregator East Bay Community Energy adds 550 MW of new renewable-energy generation and roughly 137.5 MW/390 MWh of energy storage to its expanding renewables portfolio.

Two of the PPAs, which were approved at the Sept. 18 regular board meeting, are for solar energy projects to be sited in Southern California, one of which includes a virtual storage component. These should be operational in December 2022.

The contract with sPower is a 20-year agreement for 125 MW of solar power and 80 MW/160 MWh of battery storage in Southern California. EBCE is purchasing all output from the sPower solar-plus-storage project, which is being constructed by the Salt Lake City-based developer. The project will not only provide energy, it will also provide renewable-energy credits and resource adequacy. EBCE said it will also "have full control to charge and discharge the battery to help bring energy into the evening hours" once the sun has set.

The Edwards Solar Project is a 100-MW solar project being developed on a portion of Edwards Air Force Base. The PPA has a 15-year term and contracts for 100 MW of solar power and virtual storage in Kern County under development by San Diego-based Terra-Gen. The contract, according to EBCE, "allows Terra-Gen the option to install battery storage and manage the charge and discharge, providing EBCE with negative pricing protection. EBCE has the right to procure resource adequacy in the event storage is added."

The CCA notes that the terms of each contract require the developer to contribute to a community investment fund and also make a commitment to use union and/or prevailing-wage labor. The developers pledged more than $1 million toward the fund and also committed to volunteer and education-related training hours.

Although it is not disclosing the price of energy for each project, EBCE said that "on a portfolio basis" the two solar projects are expected to cost roughly $22/MWh, with a 2-percent inflation adjustment over time.

The board also discussed a memorandum of understanding with Brookfield Renewable Partners related to a Livermore-based, 80-MW wind project that is being repowered. The former wind project was fully decommissioned and is expected to be operational by December 2021.

The project was part of the Southern California Public Power Authority's 2019 request for proposals. EBCE is using that document plus its own recent RFP results to evaluate the project. The developers are still compiling an interconnection study, according to EBCE. Based on its evaluation, EBCE might be part of a joint procurement for that project's generation output. 

These contracts plus the MOU bring the number of new projects EBCE has under development and/or consideration to 11.

In September, the CCA launched a request-for-information process designed to help it identify options for procuring new incremental capacity to provide it with resource adequacy and/or peak energy. It is seeking information on potential energy contracts of up to 20 years that are ideally able to start delivery before January 2022. The RFI is being "issued solely for information and planning purposes" (see CEM No. 1556).

EBCE serves roughly 540,000 customer accounts in the cities of Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Oakland, Piedmont, San Leandro and Union City. It has an annual load of about 6,000 GWh, and claims to be the second-largest CCA in California and the largest in Pacific Gas & Electric's territory.

EBCE said its existing portfolio has "a mix of 10- to 20-year contracts along with a variety of pricing structures and contract provisions to help EBCE diversify its risk related to geographic or technology concentration."