Don’t be fooled by “green energy” or “renewable energy” groups like Marin Clean Energy and others. It’s simple economics. When you add “middle men” in to the mix, you add additional costs because you’ve not created any more customers nor produced any electricity. Not only that but their “Renewable Energy Credit” system is deceiving. Get the facts. It’s not easy but here it is. These are the facts.
Community Choice Aggregates (CCA’S) including Marin Clean Energy (MCE) are unwilling OR unable to sign the Power Purchase Agreements necessary to generate the renewable power needed by the State to reach our Renewable Portfolio Standards goals (RPS). In fact, there are currently several solar projects that have been fully approved, permitted (with Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s)) that have not begun construction because nobody is signing the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). PG&E and the other Utilities, including public utilities like SMUD, have already bought all the power they need to meet the 2020 requirement of 33% RPS.
But the CCAs are NOT signing these agreements.
If we don’t build these projects now, as a State, we lose the benefit of the Federal tax credits (set to reduce to 10% in 2019) which means power costs go up. It also means that MCE rates will go up noticeably while PG&E’s will remain moderate because of all the cheap long-term contracts they have signed the last 5 years. MCE signed some of these, but the term is 3-5 years, not 15-20.
There was also a big conversation at the California Energy Commission about the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA*), which is the cost sharing mechanism that the CCAs are supposed to pay to compensate PG&E for the power PG&E bought under long term contracts for its customers that the CCAs have stolen. Everybody, including the President of the CPUC, acknowledged that this PCIA is not accurately apportioning that cost. PG&E showed that MCE is paying only 65% of what it owes every month. That means you and I are subsidizing MCE customers.
*The PCIA ensures that the customers who remain with the utility do not end up taking on the long-term financial obligations the utility incurred on behalf of now-departed customers. Examples of such financial obligations include utility expenditures to build power plants and, more commonly, long-term power purchase contracts with independent power producers.
MCE and the other CCAs will have significantly higher rates (as much as 25%) than there rates today. This means some customers will leave and threaten the ability of CCAs to operate. Plus, their promises of cleaner energy are being proven false.