To provide consumers with additional renewable energy options and lower electricity rates, an advocacy organization in Oregon is urging the state to adopt community choice aggregation.
The Oregon-based Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA) is spearheading an effort to draft legislation to allow municipalities within the state to buy electricity through community choice aggregation programs.
“We believe in the ability for communities to determine what’s the best power supply portfolio to best serve their communities,” said Brian Skeahan, CREA’s director and a former public utility district manager in Washington state.
Created in 2007, CREA works the Oregon Department of Energy Renewable Energy Work Group to define the state’s renewable portfolio standard, and membership includes counties, irrigation districts, government councils, project developers, for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations.
Community choice aggregation can provide Oregon energy consumers with more renewable energy options. Eight states, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia, have enacted community choice aggregation legislation which allows municipalities to pool energy buying clout to negotiate lower rates and provide more renewable energy options.
In addition to providing additional green energy options and potentially saving residents and businesses money on electricity costs, a community choice aggregation program would also promote more local generation and storage projects, which would bolster the reliability of the power grid.
Demand is high for renewable alternatives in Oregon, which has the largest number of green pricing program customers, but is only the fifth-largest state of origin for green pricing program generation, according to a 2016 National Renewable Energy Laboratory report.