Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Community Choice Energy Aggregators (CCAs) – Best Practices & Expansion Promise
December 8-9, 2020 | Online :: Central Time

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Overview

Community choice aggregation (CCA) providers have proliferated in California.  These CCAs allow local organizations or governments to procure power on behalf of their residents, businesses, and municipal accounts from an alternative supplier while still receiving transmission and distribution service from their existing utility provider.   They are an attractive option for communities that want more local control over their electricity sources, more green power than is offered by the default utility, and in some cases even lower electricity prices. The concept is that, by aggregating demand, communities gain leverage to negotiate better rates with competitive suppliers and choose cleaner power sources.

CCAs are legislated or allowed to operate in other jurisdictions but haven’t scored the penetration or gains seen in California. Why is that? 

This program will:

  • Evaluate the “hits and misses” of the community-based approach to power supply
  • Why it seems to work in some places, but not others
  • What the essential elements are for successful implementation.
  • The challenges and opportunities CCAs encounter
  • CCA operational costs and risks associated with hedging, planning and power procurement.  
  • Best practices for realizing the full promise offered by CCAs
  • Scope a path forward for jurisdictions intending to boost the odds for community choice aggregation on a wider scale

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify what states permit CCAs and where their potential allowance is pending
  • Review the regulatory and market conditions under which CCAs can operate to the greatest benefit
  • Assess how CCAs and utilities relate to each other in the same service territory
  • Examine the many different “flavors” of CCAs
  • Evaluate the important operational distinctions between the “full retail CCA model” (California CCAs) and the “commodity CCA model”
  • Explain why groups and communities go to the trouble of pursuing a CCA
  • Define the start-up requirements for a CCA
  • Discuss operational complexities of a CCA 
  • Interpret how to manage the cost and risk associated with hedging, planning, and energy procurement for CCAs
  • Assess the path forward for CCAs in both California and other jurisdictions in North America

Credits

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.4 CEUs for this event.

 

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.

Agenda

Tuesday. December 8, 2020 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In and Welcome

9:00 – 9:15 a.m. :: Overview & Introductions


9:15 – 10:45 a.m. :: Context for CCAs

  • What differentiates CCAs from…
    • Other retail energy providers
    • Utilities such as cooperatives and municipal utilities
  • Can a CCA coexist peaceably w/an incumbent investor-owned (IOU) or other provider of last resort (POLR) utility in the same service territory?

Flavors of CCAs

  • Retail choice in states with a deregulated electricity market and how CCAs fit into the picture
  • States with regulated monopoly IOU markets and no retail choice
  • The “full retail CCA model” (California) compared to the “commodity CCA model” (Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Rhode Island)
  • Full retail model CCAs and commodity model CCAs compared to other retail electric providers such as energy services companies (ESCOs) and direct access (DA) electric service providers (ESPs)
  • Retail choice legislation examples (Rhode Island, Texas)
  • CCA legislation examples (California and other states; Failed California legislation to thwart CCAs; Failed New York bill to make CCAs full retail; Oregon failed bill to open market to CCAs)

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. :: Morning Break


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: Where CCAs Are (Not) Enabled

  • Where CCAs are legislatively permitted
  • What type(s) of CCAs are allowed and/or active
    • Is electric retail choice available to non-residential customers?
    • Is electric retail choice available to residential customers?
  • Why CCAs work in some areas (where allowed) but not others – at least, so far

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. :: Lunch Break


1:15 – 2:45 p.m. :: Operational Models (Variations) of CCAs

  • The commodity model explained
    • Brokering power from ESCOs on behalf of communities
  • The full retail model explained
  • Direct energy procurement
  • Exit fees paid to the incumbent IOU
  • Customer program design
  • Rate design
  • Data access and the grid
  • Customer billing
  • Bankability

Barriers to Enabling the Full Retail CCA Model

  • Lack of credit rating
  • Prevalence of ESCOs or DA ESPs
  • Utility regulatory compact

Keys to Overcoming Barriers

  • Legislative provisions
  • Stable and informed founding organizations
  • Financing elements

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break


3:00 – 5:00 p.m. :: Why Go to the Trouble of Pursuing a CCA?

  • Lower rates than the incumbent IOU
  • Community partnerships
  • Community choice
  • More transparency for customers
  • Economic development
  • Renewable energy access
  • Operational independence from shareholders and less influence of utilities commissions

5:00 p.m. :: Program Adjourns for Day


Wednesday, December 9, 2020 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m. :: Log In


9:00 – 10:45 a.m. :: Start-Up Requirements

  • Joint Powers Agreement
  • Ordinances
  • Business Plan
  • Start-Up Timeline/Funding
  • Operating Rules and Procedures
  • Implementation Plan

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. :: Morning Break


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: Addressing Operational Wrinkles of CCAs 

  • POLR (provider of last resort)
    • Exit fee and other separation issues from local default utility
    • Ongoing, necessary engagement w/local default utility
  • Procurement process and contracting
  • Rate design
  • Billing
  • Service (distribution system) access and transparency
  • Customer defaults

12:30 – 1:15 p.m. :: Lunch Break


1:15 – 3:00 p.m. :: Modeling for Least-Cost/Least-Risk Resource Procurement

  • Understanding market risk for retailers
  • Using analytics to manage market exposure risk
  • Optimization for “all-weather” long-term planning
  • RFO best practices for long-term procurement                   

3:00 – 3:15 p.m. :: Afternoon Break


3:15 – 5:00 p.m. :: Open Forum – The Path Forward

  • Are Full Retail CCAs destined to be a California phenomenon or can they flourish elsewhere?
  • How could the California model be improved upon?
  • Can the commodity model deliver the same benefits as a full retail CCA?
  • What are the other state(s) where the CCA promise might be realized?
  • What changes must happen for that promise to be realized?

5:00 p.m. :: Program Adjournment

Instructors

Mark Fulmer, Principal, MRW Associates

Mark Fulmer is Principal at MRW Associates, where he advises clients on the economic issues of taking electricity service from non-utility sources. Typical clients include customers using or considering conventional self-generation, renewable generation, cogeneration or service from Energy Service Providers (ESPs) via California’s direct access program. He also leads the firm’s forecasting practice, providing ESPs and end-use customers rate forecasts for budgeting and planning purposes.  Mr. Fulmer’s 20 years-plus of experience in the energy industry has been in the regulatory arena, advising end-use customers, trade groups, energy service providers, utilities, and regulatory commissions on rate-making, resource planning, energy efficiency, demand side management, and gas and electric industry restructuring and competition.  Before joining MRW Associates, he was affiliated with Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall (DMJM) as well as Tellus Institute.  He earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine and a Masters in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.


Miriam Makhyoun, CEO, EQ Research

Miriam is the Chief Executive Officer of EQ Research, responsible for providing strategic leadership for the company to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies. Her areas of expertise for clients include energy storage valuation, energy procurement, capacity procurement, market design and carbon emissions compliance.  Ms. Makhyoun has nearly a decade of utility and energy industry experience, most recently as Power Supply Contracts Manager at MCE, California’s first Community Choice Aggregation Program, where she managed MCE’s 2018 Energy Storage Request for Offer process. Other experience includes portfolio management for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company procuring resource adequacy capacity and carbon compliance instruments. Before PG&E, Ms. Makhyoun provided customized research for members of Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).  She also conducted market intelligence while at North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA).


David Millar, Director – Resource Planning Consulting, Ascend Analytics

David Millar is Director of Resource Planning Consulting at Ascend Analytics. He leads the firms consulting practice, providing utility clients expertise in risk-based long-term resource planning and valuation. Previously, he worked at Pacific Gas and Electric, where he served as a Principal of Energy Modeling and Analysis.  Mr. Millar led data analytics projects to guide company strategy on generation portfolio planning, energy storage valuation, and load and price forecasting.  He also previously conducted energy consulting with DNV GL and regulatory policy research at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. He holds a master’s degree in Energy Economics and Policy from Duke University, and bachelor’s degrees in Earth Sciences and Political Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Scott Blaising, Partner, Braun Blaising Smith Wynne (invited)

Scott Blaising is a Partner in the law firm, Braun Blaising Smith Wynne (BBSW).  He has worked in the electric utility industry for more than 30 years.  In his practice at BBSW, he serves as special counsel for numerous public agencies on energy matters.  As such, he has been actively involved in regulatory and legislative efforts to promote retail service options for public agencies, including Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Currently, Mr. Blaising manages a group within BBSW that provides regulatory services to numerous CCA programs in California, including Marin Clean Energy, City of Lancaster, Sonoma Clean Power Authority and Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority. He also serves as regulatory counsel for LEAN Energy US, which has served as a CCA clearinghouse of information for local public agencies.  Prior to entering private practice, he worked for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and Southern California Edison Company (SCE). In addition to leading SMUD’s key account services department, he served as SMUD’s electric industry restructuring coordinator. At SCE, he served as an area manager, representing SCE in governmental and civic matters, after previously working as a distribution planner and energy services representative.  Mr. Blaising received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and earned juris doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.


Mary Neal, Senior Project Manager, MRW Associates

Mary Neal is Senior Project Manager at MRW Associates, where she advises electric and natural gas industry clients on a wide array of regulatory, policy, and capital planning issues. She prepares utility cost allocation, revenue requirement, and rate design models and testifies in regulatory proceedings across the U.S. and Canada.  Ms. Neal also has extensive experience modeling wholesale power markets for price forecasting and asset valuation.  Her project work includes economic evaluation of new generating assets and unit upgrades, review of utility strategic plans for RTO participation, rate design for residential customers with distributed generation, estimation of stranded costs, and utility fuel cost forecast reviews.  Before establishing the company in 2018, Ms. Neal served as a senior consultant at Daymark Energy Advisors and its predecessor company La Capra Assocs, as well as engineer at Solar Turbines.  She has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. University of California, Davis and an M.A. in Energy and Environmental Analysis from Boston University.


Scott Wrigglesworth, Managing Director – Analytics and Strategy, Ascend Analytics

Scott Wrigglesworth is Managing Director of Analytics and Strategy with Ascend Analytics. Before joining the company, he spent 17 years with Dayton Power and Light and the AES Corporation.  There he focused on practical solutions in energy analytics, actionable reporting, margin modeling and portfolio optimization.   In that role, Mr. Wrigglesworth provided analytic expertise for portfolio optimization, planning, and risk management activities. These included merchant generation optimization, fuel procurement, wholesale hedging, retail energy, load auctions, rate case preparation, asset valuation, and commercial budget development.  In his position with the Ascend Analytics team, he applies his experience in commercial portfolio analytics.  Mr. Wrigglesworth teaches a course in Energy Markets at the University of Dayton from where he also earned his MBA. He holds a BA in Global Economics and International Business from Cedarville University.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.

Register

Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

Event Standard RateAttendees
Single Connection - Community Choice Energy Aggregators (CCAs) - Best Practices & Expansion PromiseUS $ 1295.00
Pack of 5 connectionsUS $ 5,180.00
Pack of 10 ConnectionsUS $ 9,065.00
Pack of 20 ConnectionsUS $ 15,540.00
Call us at 303.770.8800 if you have any specific questions on the volume discounts
* all other discounts do not apply to license packs

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Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before November 06, 2020 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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