San Diego Energy District Foundation Forming Electric Cooperative to Provide Customer Choice and Local Green Power

June 2, 2012

Conference with Elected Officials set for June 21

The San Diego Energy District Foundation (SDED) has announced that it is seeking to form a Local Energy Cooperative, which will allow San Diegans to have a choice of where they purchase energy.

The Local Energy Cooperative will offer San Diegans the choice to continue to purchase power from SDG&E, or local green power from Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Pooling energy demand under a single not-for-profit structure is known as Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Local control, competitive pricing, local green energy development and jobs are features of local energy cooperatives. CCAs have been successfully launched in Northern California.

“CCA is an off-the-shelf alternative to the status quo, which creates a structure open to innovation and local involvement in electricity generation,” said Bill Powers, one of the founders of the SDED Foundation.

SDED is exploring the formation of a CCA with elected officials from the County of San Diego, and the cities of Solana Beach and Santee. San Diego Gas & Electric has stated publicly that it supports the right of customer choice and will cooperate with CCA formation in San Diego County. California State Law allows for the formation of a Local Energy cooperative, so that customers can choose from whom they purchase energy.

The San Diego Energy District is hosting the Government Conference on Community Choice Aggregation in San Diego from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at the San Diego Foundation, 2508 Historic Decatur Rd., San Diego, CA 92106.

The conference will consist of panel discussions on CCAs. Panels will address the basic structure of a CCA, lessons learned from CCA implementation in California and other states, and investor-owned utility obligations toward CCAs.

Panelists include:

  • Shawn Marshall, Director LEAN Energy US, founder of the Marin Clean Energy Authority, and an elected official of the City of Mill Valley, CA.
  • Paul Fenn, author of California’s CCA law.
  • City of Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Dave Roberts.
  • CCA industry executives from Noble Americas, Shell North America and Direct Energy.
  • A second panel will discuss rule making by the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to establish a code of conduct for public utilities faced with CCA formation. Representatives from San Diego Gas & Electric declined to participate on the panel but will be present at the conference. Confirmed panelists are:
  • Scott Blaising of Braun Blaising McLaughlin & Smith, who represents the California CCA Coalition before the PUC.
  • Carlos Velasquez of the California Public Utilities Commission is responsible for CCA affairs at the PUC.

Forming a Community Choice Aggregation district is a legal process in California. A CCA is an energy purchasing alternative that offers power customers affordability, competition, and the opportunity to accelerate local energy development.

A renewable energy cooperative is an excellent tool for combating climate change. The SDED Foundation will focus on implementation strategies that prioritize obtaining power from customer-owned rooftop PV arrays to assure that CCA customers are the primary beneficiaries of increased renewable energy production.

Source: Business Wire