Community Choice Aggregation Update: September 1, 2021
from Rod Howe (Town of Ithaca), Gay Nicholson (Sustainable Tompkins) and Luis Aguirre-Torres (City of Ithaca)
The Park Foundation awarded the “Community Choice Aggregation in Tompkins County: Developing a Path Forward” proposal $50,000 (as opposed to the $72,000 request). This news along with the following additional inputs led to a series of summer discussions:
- Luis Aguirre Torres, Sustainability Director for the City of Ithaca became involved and brings a deep knowledge about CCA.
- The proposed timeline and scope of work shared in the Park Foundation proposal did not adequately capture the costs of the planning and documentation needed for implementation.
- A strong desire to create a smooth process for other Tompkins County municipalities wanting to sign on to any approved Public Service Commission plan.
Sustainable Tompkins and the City of Ithaca will sign a contract with Paul Fenn, Local Power LLC, to provide agreed upon activities and deliverables over a 16-month period. Local Power will work with the City and Town of Ithaca to develop and submit a plan to the PSC that will include financial, data security, community education, and local energy development components. Once the plan is approved, other municipalities will have the opportunity to join the City and Town in the program.
- Meeting with Park Foundation to update them on the revised plan and path forward.
- Gay Nicholson and Sustainable Tompkins (ST) will stay very involved.
- Tentative plan is that City of Ithaca will contribute funds toward engaging Paul Fenn in 2022 (after the Park Foundation funding ends).
- Once the CCA plan is approved by the Public Service Commission, it will be a relatively simple matter for the other municipalities to join the CCA.
Communication with Sister Municipalities
A monthly summary email will be sent out to the contacts of the municipalities who had expressed interest in being part of the CCA initiative (this will also include the TCCOG energy committee – there is a high degree of overlap between those two groups). Further, there will be at least quarterly Zoom meetings to provide updates about data collection, community engagement, finances and the draft implementation plan.
For now, municipalities can hold off on passing the enabling legislation to facilitate the creation of a CCA Program.