On December 1, 2021, California Choice Energy Authority (CalChoice) Energy Programs Manager Kathy Wells joined panelists from East Bay Community Energy, Marin Clean Energy and Sonoma Clean Power on a panel discussion focused on the role local communities play in advancing decarbonization solutions. Silicon Valley Clean Energy CEO Girish Balachandran moderated the panel.
“While California has made great strides in reducing electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions, the State must now focus on decarbonizing buildings and transportation,” said Wells. “It was a pleasure to participate in CalCCA’s panel and share ideas with industry experts about how CCAs and local communities can get involved in that process.”
During the panel, Wells provided insight on how partnerships between CCAs and investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and other entities can lower costs for customers and improve efficiency. Citing CalChoice’s partnership with Terra Verde to launch a new solar and battery storage program, Wells explained how the initiative will be facilitated by a distributed power purchase agreement structure and how it directly benefits customers through cost savings, and member CCAs by creating a potential new revenue stream.
All panelists agreed on a common theme throughout the discussion: CCAs are in a better position to represent local needs than a larger IOU. CCAs, for example, have the ability to focus on demographic-driven programs, such as disadvantaged communities programs. Additionally, CCAs are in a favorable position to work directly with local governments to help affect decarbonization efforts. CCAs can do so through localized programming, innovative financing or by collaborating directly with policy makers.
“Decarbonization is an essential component of California’s state-wide energy movement,” continued Wells. “CalChoice is proud to contribute to these discussions, and we look forward to advancing the mission of decarbonizing buildings and transportation within the State.”