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CCA power purchases up 37.8% on year in Q1 2020 as sellers flock to market

Highlights

Market jumps to 16.4 million MWh

TEA is top supplier, while NextEra joins the fray

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.

Q1 2020 COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATORS WHOLESALE POWER PURCHASES (1)
COMMUNITY CHOICE AGGREGATOR BUYER
Q1 2020 MWh
% CHANGE FROM Q1 2019
Q1 2019 MWh
Q1 2018 MWh
CLEAN POWER ALLIANCE
5,597,155
164.9%
2,113,105
65,719
EAST BAY COMMUNITY ENERGY
1,903,802
7.0%
1,779,705
-
MONTEREY BAY COMMUNITY POWER
1,761,266
10.1%
1,600,298
156,357
SILICON VALLEY CLEAN ENERGY AUTHORITY
1,460,111
-2.1%
1,492,033
1,837,062
MARIN CLEAN ENERGY
1,333,688
7.8%
1,237,683
1,146,813
PENINSULA CLEAN ENERGY AUTHORITY
1,002,971
-8.3%
1,093,964
905,115
CLEANPOWERSF
1,000,710
52.2%
657,548
160,451
SAN JOSE CLEAN ENERGY
844,851
86.8%
452,336
-
SONOMA CLEAN POWER AUTHORITY
645,126
-2.6%
662,192
736,455
REDWOOD COAST ENERGY AUTHORITY
307,745
-6.1%
327,899
352,486
PIONEER COMMUNITY ENERGY
250,022
20.2%
207,987
-
CALIFORNIA CHOICE ENERGY AUTHORITY (2)
119,939
77.5%
67,554
19,663
LANCASTER CHOICE ENERGY (2)
89,414
-9.9%
99,291
143,700
APPLE VALLEY CHOICE ENERGY (2)
44,855
-10.5%
50,116
52,679
SOLANA ENERGY ALLIANCE
31,459
-9.8%
34,864
-
RANCHO MIRAGE ENERGY AUTHORITY (2)
28,205
-12.8%
32,332
-
SAN JACINTO POWER (2)
21,611
-4.5%
22,628
-
DESERT COMMUNITY ENERGY (4)
-
NA
-
-
KING CITY COMMUNITY POWER (3)
-
NA
-
-
PICO RIVERA INNOVATIVE MUNICIPAL ENERGY (2) (3)
-
NA
-
-
VALLEY CLEAN ENERGY ALLIANCE (3)
-
NA
-
-
WESTERN COMMUNITY ENERGY (4)
-
NA
-
-
Total
16,442,930
37.8%
11,931,534
5,576,500
(1) Purchases and sales of power under bi-lateral deals. Excludes buys and sells (if any) from California Independent System Operator,
large hydro owned by public power entities and most small renewable QF facilities (generally 20 MW or less). Most of the small
QFs are solar, wind, hydro and landfill-gas facilities. During Q1 2020 it is estimated CCAs accounted for approximatedly 18% of the CAISO
wholesale market and about 37% of the wholesale bi-lateral market in CAISO (i.e. non-ISO sales).
(2) California Choice Energy Authority (CCEA) is a joint-powers authority (JPA). It consists of 5 members - Lancaster Choice Energy, San Jacinto
Power, Pico Rivera Innovative Municipal Energy, Rancho Mirage Energy Authority and Apple Valley Choice Energy. Purchases may show up
under CCEA or the respective individual CCA.
(3) No information on purchases available.
(4) Began operation in April 2020 (Q2 2020).
Source: Government filings compiled by S&P Global Platts