New York’s largest community choice clean energy program has been activated in the City of Rochester. The program, offered by Rochester Community Power, offers 57,000 residences and small businesses access to clean energy from hydropower and wind sources. It requires customers to opt out rather than enroll in order to provide clean energy to the greatest number of people.
Rochester Community Power is the city’s local community choice aggregation (CCA) program that leverages the collective buying power of participating residents to purchase renewable electricity and negotiate better terms for energy supply contracts.
The program will supply customers with more than 300 million kWh of renewable energy each year, which will avoid the emission of about 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Rochester plans to add a community solar program next year which will provide additional clean energy opportunities, including offering guaranteed savings to thousands of participants in its Home Energy Assistance Program.
The project will be managed by Joule Assets, which is a provider of energy reduction market analysis, tools, and financing. Joule Assets, as program administrator for the Rochester program, managed the competitive bidding process that secured a fixed rate for electricity for the next two years, shielding participating residences and businesses from volatile market prices.
Community choice aggregation programs are local, not-for-profit public agencies that are an alternative to investor-owned utilities. They give municipalities the ability to make decisions about the procurement, sourcing, and rates for energy for its residents.
Photo, posted June 25, 2011, courtesy of Paulo Valdivieso via Flickr.