Letter: Cheaper Safer Greener Energy for Laguna

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Laguna could have new, greener and cheaper energy choices by joining with nearby municipalities wanting the same thing. Community Choice Energy (CCE) makes this possible. Power deregulation separates electrical generation from distribution and transmission allowing a CCE to work around the conventional regulatory framework for buying electrical power from regulated public utilities like SCE and PGE.

The goal of CCE is to lower the cost of energy to consumers by allowing cities to choose from both renewable and conventional energy generators. It does this by boosting a city’s buying power through purchase agreements with neighboring cities. CCE, also known as Community Choice Aggregation, creates a cooperative agreement between municipalities, renewable power generators, and public utilities like SCE and PGE.

According to Forbes, electricity generation based on fossil fuels costs $.05 to $0.17 per KwH (killowatt hour). CCE offers competitive production rates; wind schemes are coming in at $.04 per KwH, while the cost of solar PV (photo voltaic) is down to $.10 per KwH and falling.

CCE power is generally cheaper to distribute and has a lower risk from fire than conventional high-voltage electric power—both real benefits for Laguna Beach. Through microgrid technology, CCE offers Laguna an attractive and forward-thinking alternative to the cost of undergrounding last century’s power lines—a project estimated to cost Laguna $250-$500 million over the next 50 years.

The City of Irvine is leading the way and is looking to neighboring cities like Laguna to form a CCE. On Dec. 10, Irvine addressed Community Choice Energy at their City Council meeting. Lagun Beach City Council member Toni Iseman attended. The measure to adopt CCE in Irvine was unanimously approved by Irvine City Council.

Given the non-commitment from world nations at the Spain Climate Summit on Monday, a European Union Commission has proposed a climate law to become carbon neutral by 2050. What will Laguna do now?

 

Les Miklosy, Laguna Beach

 

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