Houston — Seventeen community choice aggregators in California purchased 16.4 million MWh of electricity in the first quarter of 2020, a year-on-year increase of 37.8%, showed quarterly data filed by power sellers to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and compiled by S&P Global Platts.
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CCA power purchases have steadily risen over the seven years they have been active. Purchases topped the 1 million MWh mark in Q1 2017, jumped to 5.5 million MWh in Q1 2018 when there were 11 CCAs in operation. Purchases rose to 11.9 million in Q1 2019 as the number of CCAs began expanding.
The Clean Power Alliance, a CCA formed in 2017 that serves 3 million customers and 1 million accounts across Los Angeles and Ventura counties, purchased 5.6 million MWh in Q1, compared with 2.1 million MWh in Q1 2019 and 65,719 MWh in Q1 2018.
According to the data, the second-largest purchase in Q1 2020 was made by East Bay Community Energy, whose service territory is Alameda County.
EBCE purchased 1.9 million MWh of power in Q1 2020. The CCA was formed in late 2018 and had purchases in Q1 2019 of 1.7 million MWh.
Like most CCAs, EBCE emphasizes its sale of carbon-free energy. It designs its retail power sales packages based on a mix of renewables including some hydro but always with a large mix of wind and solar power.
Of the 17 CCAs that purchased power in Q1 2020, seven reached the 1 million MWh power purchase milestone.
Before and during Q1 2020, there were five new CCAs looking to join the ranks.
CalCCA, the organization that represents the interests of the CCAs in the state's legislature and at state regulatory agencies, said in March that 19 CCAs were servicing more than 10 million customers, and the total number of CCAs eventually in operation this year could rise to 21.
CCA power suppliers
According to data filed with FERC, there were 32 generating and power trading companies that supplied the 16.4 million MWh of power to the 17 CCAs in Q1 2020.
The top supplier was The Energy Authority, a public power-owned, nonprofit corporation with offices in Jacksonville, Florida, and Bellevue, Washington.
TEA is a national portfolio management company that says it has over 50 public power clients.
It sold 3.8 million MWh of power to CCAs in California in Q1 2020, a year-over-year increase of 78.3%. It topped Exelon Generation, which sold 2.9 million MWh, or 17.9 % more than in Q1 2019.
Morgan Stanley Capital Group and Shell Energy North America, long-time power suppliers in California, saw their Q1 sales to CCAs increase 30.6% and 19.7%, respectively, over Q1 2019. Morgan Stanley sold 2.5 million MWh, while SENA sold 2.2 million MWh.
For both Morgan Stanley and SENA, sales totals to CCAs in Q1 2020 were up fourfold from Q1 2018.
Ranked fifth in Q1 2020 was Direct Energy Business Marketing. It sold 1.4 million MWh, a year-on-year increase of 23.2%.
By Q1 2020, one of the country's largest wind and solar generators entered the CCA supply market. NextEra Energy Marketing sold 1.15 million MWh to CCAs. That was up 295% over its 290,665 MWh of sales in Q1 2019. It was also steeply up from sales of 36,960 MWh in Q1 2018.