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Economic Development Research Group Blog

Community Choice Aggregation Accelerates Renewable Energy Adoption

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EDR Group and its parent EBP are involved in Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in California, Massachusetts, cities in Switzerland and other European cities. We monitor and participate in a range of CCA efforts. The City of Newton, MA (population 89,000)  just entered a 22 month agreement that will provide 60% local renewables, procured through a competitive bid process. The standard generation price per kilowatt hour for customers will be 11.34 cents.  This compares to Eversource’s winter Basic Service rate (beginning January 1, 2019) for residential customers of 13.70 cents per kilowatt hour. The utliity’s summer rate will be higher.  Under a 1997 Massachusetts law allowing competitive electricity purchases, about 40 communities now purchase their electricity for the entire community, businesses and residences, significantly cheaper than the basic service rates provided by regulated utilities.   Community Choice Aggregations have been effective at lowering electric rates but over time they have evolved into...
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Community Choice Aggregation: Moving from just Cheaper Electricity to Greener Electricity (that’s getting cheaper too)

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In 2018, communities in six states are leveraging their buying power for electric supply through Community Choice Aggregations (CCAs). What’s new in this 20 year phenomenon is electric supply bids increasingly include renewable components at the same or lower rates than utility basic service rates. EDR Group is working in community aggregations from Massachusetts to California.  We are currently reviewing the Clean Energy programs operated by Massachusetts’ Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), including their work in fostering CCAs. The Massachusetts experience shows how the markets are responding to more abundant and cheaper local renewable electricity supply. A 1997, Massachusetts electric deregulation statute enabled communities to aggregate their electric demand and usage and seek bids from competing electricity generators. Procuring electricity for entire communities or groups of communities increases buying power, leading to lower electric supply rates for all types of customers in the aggregation.  The Cape Light Compact was the...
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