Four Bay Area Community Energy Agencies Kick Off New Program to Provide Local Resiliency
Program will result in thousands of homes and businesses installing backup power
Fremont, Calif. – Local Bay Area energy agencies are joining forces to stabilize California’s grid by providing residents and businesses with economical and emissions-free battery backup systems. East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), Peninsula Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Power (SVP), and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) are issuing a joint solicitation for the installation of over 30 megawatts of battery storage for their customers. The program will provide resilient solar power combined with battery storage to approximately 6,000 homes and hundreds of businesses in Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties, including those hit by recent Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) power shutoffs.
This innovative program also enables the use of local resources to fulfill state “Resource Adequacy” requirements. Resource Adequacy refers to energy generating capacity that local agencies and utilities must contract to ensure the safe and reliable operation of California’s electrical grid in real time. This requirement has historically been filled through purchasing Resource Adequacy from distant power plants. 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 announcement was made outside the Fremont Fire Station #6, where a microgrid powered by a solar and battery system ensures the lights stay on for emergency responders through the outages that have affected more than one million customers in PG&E territory alone during the past several weeks.
The Request for Proposals, issued today, calls for proposals to install battery systems on local homes and businesses that may be combined with new or existing solar systems. The systems will lower energy bills, increase reliability, and help stabilize the power supply for the community at large. A minimum of fifty percent of the systems are earmarked for residents and the remaining capacity for multifamily properties and commercial buildings. Partner vendor(s) will be selected in early 2020, with the intent of announcing the program details in spring 2020, and projects to be underway soon after with the intent of preempting the next fire season.
EBCE, Peninsula Clean Energy, and SVCE are Community Choice Energy providers; public agencies that for the past few years have provided businesses and residents in Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties respectively with clean power at rates below PG&E’s. The agencies have collectively saved customers tens of millions of dollars each year on electricity while funding the development of hundreds of megawatts of new renewable energy projects. They are joined by SVP, the long-standing municipal utility serving the City of Santa Clara.
While the solicitation is not prescriptive, it lists goals of supporting low-income residents, customers with life-dependent medical equipment, and residents and businesses located in disadvantaged communities. 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. The program will also complement Peninsula Clean Energy’s commitment of up to $10 million to provide clean backup power in Santa Mateo County, as well as additional customer programs provided by SVCE and SVP.
The Request for Proposals can be found at ebce.org/solicitations, or peninsulacleanenergy.com/resilience-RFP, or svcleanenergy.org/solicitations/.
Customers within Alameda County interested in participating in the program can sign up to receive updates at ebce.org/resilience, in San Mateo County at peninsulacleanenergy.com/resilience, and in portions of Santa Clara County at svcleanenergy.org/resilience.
About East Bay Community Energy (EBCE)
EBCE is a not-for-profit public agency that operates a Community Choice Energy program for Alameda County and eleven incorporated cities, serving more than 550,000 residential and commercial customers throughout the county. EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and is one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California. CCAs are expediting the climate action goals of their communities and those of California. EBCE is committed to providing clean power at competitive rates while reinvesting in our local communities. For more information about East Bay Community Energy, visit https://ebce.org/.
Contact: Dan Lieberman, email@example.com, 925-579-1591
About Peninsula Clean Energy
Peninsula Clean Energy is San Mateo County’s official electricity provider. It is a public local community choice energy agency that provides all electric customers in San Mateo County with cleaner electricity at lower rates than those charged by the local incumbent utility. Peninsula Clean Energy saves customers an estimated $18 million a year. Peninsula Clean Energy, formed in March 2016, is a joint powers authority made up of the County of San Mateo and all 20 cities and towns in the County. The agency serves approximately 290,000 accounts. peninsulacleanenergy.com/
Contact: Kirsten Andrews-Schwind, firstname.lastname@example.org, M: 650.260.0096
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE)
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a community-owned agency serving the majority of Santa Clara County communities, acquiring clean, carbon-free electricity on behalf of more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Member jurisdictions include Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County. SVCE is guided by a Board of Directors, which is comprised of a representative from the governing body of each member community. For more information, please visit SVCleanEnergy.org.
Contact: Pamela Leonard, email@example.com, 408-721-5301 x1004
About Silicon Valley Power (SVP)
Silicon Valley Power (SVP) is the trademark adopted for use by the not-for-profit electric municipal utility of Santa Clara, CA, serving residents and businesses for over 120 years. SVP provides power to nearly 55,000 customers, at rates 25 to 48 percent below neighboring communities. SVP is the only full service, vertically integrated publicly owned utility in Silicon Valley owning generation, transmission and distribution assets. See more at: siliconvalleypower.com/.
Contact: Astra Kredel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 408-615-2719