Clean Energy Alliance to meet with Public Utilities Commission

(From left) Clean Energy Alliance interim CEO Barbara Boswell and board members Cori Schumacher, Ellie Haviland and Kristi Becker met Feb. 20 at Solana Beach City Hall.
(Luke Harold)

The newly formed Clean Energy Alliance will send board member Kristi Becker to meet with the California Public Utilities Commission officials to discuss details of the alliance’s implementation plan.

The meeting is slated for early March, CEA staff said at the board’s Feb. 20 meeting at Solana Beach City Hall.

According to a CEA staff report, the purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the Community Choice Energy program’s goals and the transition some customers will be making to the CEA from the Solana Energy Alliance, which was the first CCE in San Diego when it launched a few years ago. Cities, counties and other organizations have been creating CCEs throughout California for almost 20 years, allowing them to deliver energy with more renewable sources at slightly reduced rates.

Becker, who serves on the Solana Beach City Council, said that Solana Energy Alliance representatives did not meet in person with CPUC when it first launched. But it “probably would have been a good idea,” she added, since SEA was the first CCE in San Diego County and within San Diego Gas & Electric territory.

“I do feel it’s important to meet with them face to face to tell them the ‘why’ of this and to reassure them that in essence, SEA has always said that we, from the start, were going to partner with other cities,” Becker said. “This is exactly what we foresaw happening, this is what we wanted to happen.”

The CEA’s implementation plan and statement of intent were submitted to the state Public Utilities Commission on Dec. 23, beginning a 90-day registration process.

The CEA, formed through a Joint Powers Agreement among the cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Carlsbad, plans to begin delivering power to residents and businesses in 2021. The new utility’s goal is to give customers a 2% utility bill reduction from SDG&E.

The Clean Energy Alliance board also agreed to contract with River City Bank for its banking services and Calpine Energy Alliance for data management and call center services.

Board members and CEA staff are also looking for potential opportunities to add other member cities. The cities of Escondido, Vista and San Marcos are conducting a feasibility study. CEA staff members are also continuing their discussions with the county of San Diego and the city of Oceanside, which are considering Community Choice Energy.

“We’ll continue speaking with them as they continue working through their [Community Choice Aggregation] feasibility process,” said Barbara Boswell, the Clean Energy Alliance’s interim CEO.