Meet the CCA Team: Lancaster Energy

Welcome to California Choice Energy Authority’s (CalChoice) new “Meet the Team” series. In each quarterly newsletter, we will include one news article like this one, that individually highlights a CalChoice associate member CCA. Not only will we cover important program developments and milestones, but we will also introduce key staff personnel that contribute to the success of our eight associate members’ community choice aggregation (CCA) programs.

“At CalChoice we believe it is important to celebrate the names and faces behind each of our associate member operations,” said Executive Director Jason Caudle. “The innovative renewable energy programs we facilitate would not be possible without dedicated support teams who share our vision of a cleaner future in California.”

We start by featuring CalChoice’s first associate member, Lancaster Energy (LE). The City of Lancaster serves as a prime example of innovation, sustainability and good governance among California cities. In 2014, the City set out to create the first CCA in Southern California and at the time, which was the only city-operated power buying authority in the state. A true pioneer, Lancaster was also the first city in the nation to enact ordinances requiring all new construction projects to incorporate solar components.

Currently, LE is the City’s CCA program that provides nearly all of Lancaster’s businesses and residents with clean, renewable energy. The utility has entered into long-term power-buying agreements with local and regional solar and wind companies to ensure a sustainable future for its customers and community members.

To learn more about Lancaster Energy’s local impact and the CCA’s influence on the California renewable energy sector more broadly, we sat down with Patti Garibay, the Real Estate and Economic Development Manager for the City of Lancaster. She has played a key role in driving and developing several of LE’s innovative programs.

“I’m proud of our CCA, as it provides our residents and local businesses with the option to choose clean power,” said Garibay. “While our program offerings have expanded over the years, we remain committed to the mission of bringing energy decisions closer to home. This program has been, and always will be, focused on providing sustainable energy solutions that benefit our local community.”

Lancaster Energy’s emphasis on regional utility control and accountability has been the secret sauce of the program’s success. “We’re thrilled that we were able to meet our goal of becoming a net-zero electricity community in 2019,” she continued. “We could not have done that without our all-star team of staff. The innovative people who work at Lancaster Energy also played a pivotal role helping our City achieve the Energy Globe Award in 2011 for our efforts to build a sustainable, energy independent community.”

Not only has Lancaster Energy hit significant milestones since its launch, the CCA also has existing programs underway and looks forward to expanding on those in the future. For instance, the CCA recently launched a new residential solar and battery program in partnership with Tesla, Inc. and Participate.Energy.  This program is a trailblazing foray into the opportunities that solar energy can provide and allows residents to harness the power of solar without taking on the costs of installing and owning the solar system.

“CalChoice is essential in lending their expertise and support to achieve our goals. We can rely on their guidance when faced with unknowns in the ever-evolving energy space. CalChoice is also essential in bringing together all the CCA member cities to learn and share knowledge. Together, we are stronger under CalChoice and feel a greater sense of presence from a CPUC standpoint,” Garibay shared.

CalChoice is proud to partner with Lancaster Energy and to support the cutting-edge clean energy projects they are spearheading for the entire CCA realm.