With a few strokes of a pen at a media event, Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty signed four contracts that will bring clean wind power from the Altamont and other carbon-free energy from various state locations to supply East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) customers.
Haggerty serves as president of the EBCE board, a non-profit public agency serving 550,000 customers in Alameda County. It was created by the votes of the Board of Supervisors and 11 City Councils, including Livermore and Dublin. Pleasanton decided to stay out of the agency, preferring to wait a year to see how things go.
Power customers are automatically transferred to EBCE from PG&E, which explains the high number of customers in the county. People can opt to remain with PG&E, if they choose.
The new sources are expected to be online by 2022 or ’23, according to Annie Henderson, Vice President, Marketing and Account Services for EBCE. The projects will need a period of time to go through environmental review at their local sites, she said.
The Altamont’s clean source will be provided by the Summit Wind Project, in a 20-year contract for 57.5 Megawatts from the Altamont Wind LLC. One Megawatt (MW) is equivalent to 1 million watts.
The project is located within the EBCE boundary line, and illustrates what the agency can do to invest its money in the local community. Wind projects need to find buyers for their power. Altamont Wind LCC has done that, thanks to EBCE.
Haggerty told The Independent, "What an exciting day for East Bay Community Energy. Solar and wind energy generated right here in our own backyard will soon be powering Alameda County households and businesses. That's cheaper, greener, locally sourced energy, with proceeds that are invested right back into the community through energy improvement projects and jobs."
Altamont Wind LLC is working in partnership with San Diego-based Salka LLC. Salka CEO Jiddu Tapia wrote in an EBCE news release, “With no fuel costs, and low operating expenses, wind power helps to reduce electricity costs, giving consumers a better choice for their energy dollar.”
“Clean energy projects like this create jobs and spur local investment, while providing an affordable, dependable way for EBCE to meet its expanding power needs for years to come,” added Tapia.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, who attended the signing at the ferry landing in Jack London Square on June 24, talked about another of the four contracts, and how EBCE is benefiting the community with its project.
The Oakland Clean Energy Project No. 1 is a 10-year agreement for 20 MW of clean energy storage off the power grid at night, when power is attainable at its lowest cost. The battery storage will displace the current jet engine power producer, sparing the vicinity its fossil fuel pollution. Schaff said that it shows how non-profit EBCE has the community’s best interest at heart.
The other two contracts that Haggerty signed were with the Luciana Project and Sonrisa Solar Park.
The Luciana Project commits to a 15-year contract to buy 56 MW from a project in Tulare County. The Sonrisa Solar Park commits EBCE to buy 100 MW of solar energy and 30 MW of energy storage in Fresno County.