California Group Alternative Aggregators subject joint request for as much as 500 MW of long-duration vitality storage

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Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL

Today eight Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) started a joint RFO to procure up to 500 MW long-term storage. The RFO is aiming for a minimum contract of 10 years for grid-charged technologies. Central Coast Community Energy, CleanPowerSF, Marin Clean Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy, the Redwood Coast Energy Authority, San José Clean Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, and Sonoma Clean Power are looking for one or more projects that are online by or before 2026 with a minimum discharge should go eight hours.

Long-term storage systems offer grid stability in order to support higher concentrations of renewable energies in the grid. Similar to today’s battery storage, which helps provide energy for some evening hours when solar energy is no longer producing, long-term storage can be charged from the grid when renewable resources peak, and for periods of 8-16 Discharge hours when renewable production is lower.

The addition of long-term storage to the CCA portfolios will help integrate renewable energy into the grid while driving California’s aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals for 2030. Long term storage technologies are a necessary solution to ensure grid reliability as California transition from fossil fuel plants. In early 2020, the joint CCAs issued a request for information on long-term storage and received more than 58 project entries with 14 different technologies, indicating considerable interest from suppliers.

“By working together, the eight CCAs will be able to source major projects that a CCA would find difficult to acquire,” said Girish Balachandran, CEO of Silicon Valley Clean Energy. “By working together on this long-term storage solution, the CCAs can manage financial and technological risks while diversifying portfolios with inexpensive and innovative resources.”

“CCAs are leaders in promoting new clean energy resources in California. They have already signed long-term contracts totaling more than 5,000 MW with a diverse mix of newly built renewable energy assets across the state,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of the California Community Choice Association (CalCCA). “Now CCAs are acting quickly to secure the reliability resources needed to support a more resilient power system.”

The Joint CCAs have ambitious climate goals and currently provide clean electricity to nearly three million residents and businesses in northern and central California. The low-cost, long-term storage solutions that the Joint CCAs are looking for will improve customers’ renewable energy benefits during critical evenings when renewable resources are unable to produce energy, thereby improving grid reliability and stability in California. Joint procurement gives CCAs the opportunity to acquire various resources with shared risk and expanded negotiation powers.

You can find the RFO at SVCleanEnergy.org/joint-lds-rfo. The proposals are due by December 1, 2020.

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