Power Ready Program

A CPA member agency benefit program that provides critical back-up power to a public building.

What is Power Ready?

The need for backup power systems is growing as power outages become more common with increased wildfires, frequent Public Safety Power Shutoffs, and increased summer grid emergencies due to high heat.

Clean Power Alliance’s Power Ready program is a community benefit offered to its member agencies to make a public building that serves a critical community purpose energy-resilient by installing a solar and storage system so that there is a backup source of energy when there is an outage. CPA is providing this benefit at no cost to member agencies and making participation easy by contracting with a developer/ financier to build, own, and operate the systems for 20 years.

Power Ready Benefits

  • Backup power system provides power from its own source during outages (including Public Safety Power Shutoffs, natural disasters, rolling blackouts)
  • No up-front cost and no increase to annual energy bills for participating. Reduced harmful emissions and noise pollution associated with backup diesel generators
  • System developer handles all operations and maintenance
  • Enhanced grid resilience that helps to prevent grid emergencies
  • Member agency staff learn about hosting battery storage

 

A NEW CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITY IS COMING IN DECEMBER

If you’re a developer see the anticipated schedule below:

Download The Power Ready Program Factsheet Here.
Clean Power Alliance Power Ready Program
Frequently Asked Questions for Member Agencies
What is the Power Ready Program?

An opportunity to make a public building that serves a critical community purpose energy-resilient by installing a solar and storage system so that critical loads are backed up in an outage. CPA can provide this opportunity at no cost to our member agencies by aggregating a portfolio of member agency sites, CPA is making this opportunity easy for member agencies by contracting with a developer/ financier to build, own, and operate the systems for 20 years.

Why is CPA offering the Power Ready Program?

Power Ready is one of the many community benefits offered to Clean Power Alliance member agencies. Member agencies identified a need for resiliency. CPA’s Board of Directors developed Power Ready to meet this need for resilience by using the collective purchase power of CPA.

What are my benefits as a participant?

• Backup power system that provides islanded power during outages (including Public Safety Power Shutoffs, natural disasters, rolling blackouts).
• No up-front cost and no increase to annual energy bills for participating
• Reduced harmful emissions associated with backup diesel generators
• The developer handles all operations and maintenance
• Enhanced grid resilience that helps to prevent grid emergencies
• Member agency staff learn about hosting battery storage
• CPA will promote your agency’s participation in this innovative program

Who pays who?

The amount that member agencies will pay annually will be equal to or less than what they would have paid if they were not participating in the program. CPA uses the solar and storage systems to create optimal bill savings that are used to pay the system cost to the developer, making it possible for us to provide this system to member agencies at no cost.

How were Power Ready sites chosen?

During hours of sunshine, the Power Ready facilities will be as the program name implies.... “Power Ready!” The Power Ready sites will be highly functional during grid outages during “blue sky” periods. Power Ready has conducted deep dives into each selected facility to determine which loads are critical during the night – “dark sky periods.” CPA offers member agencies a minimum of 4-hour “dark sky” duration of critical loads. In most cases, these loads can be managed to extend the “dark sky” duration until the sun rises the next day.

How does the program make buildings more energy resilient?

Solar, storage, and sophisticated controls. The facilities can island in the event of a grid outage and maintain critical operations. The cost of creating an islanded system that can provide this type of critical support is much higher than the cost of installing a normal solar system or even solar and storage system.

What if the building we choose has a generator?

Many of the facilities in the Power Ready program already have generators. Power Ready brings carbon-free generation and storage to the facility, in some cases making the generators obsolete and improving the air quality of the community.
In other cases, the generators can operate in tandem with the Power Ready system to enhance resilience, cut emissions, and protect against fuel shortage.

What kinds of municipal facilities are suited for the program?

City halls, libraries, community centers, public works yards, senior centers... any municipal facility that has sufficient power load that can be profitably offset with solar, and that has a logical use case for the community during emergencies.

Will this program lower my electricity bills?

Participation in the Power Ready program is not intended to lower your electricity bills, but it will not raise them either. CPA will ensure that the amount you pay will be equal to or less than what you would have paid if you were not participating in the program. The value of this project is that member agencies get an islanded solar and storage system at no cost for use in an emergency situation. The cost of creating an islanded system that can provide this type of critical support is much higher than the cost of installing a normal solar system or even a solar and storage system.

Cost to Participate

What will it cost to participate in Power Ready?

There is no cost for participating.

Will I save money?

Power Ready is not intended to save you money on your electricity bills. The value you get is energy resilience at no additional cost. Participating members will pay no more for electricity than they would without Power Ready.

How will my bill be computed?

CPA will annually audit your energy bills so that the annual amount paid is equal to or less what your facility would pay had you not participated in the Power Ready program.

Will participating in the Power Ready program raise my bills?

No, participants electricity bills will be equal to or less than what they would have been, if they were not participating in the program. Assuming the same general usage, your bills will be the same, increasing only over the years as SCE and CPA rates increase. At no time will the presence of solar or batteries make your bill higher.

More on the Battery

How does CPA plan to use the battery?

CPA uses the battery to manage electricity demand in such a way that lowers procurement costs. Strategies such as Net Energy Metering, Peak Demand Reduction, Load Shifting from high Time of Use (TOU) periods to low TOU periods will be handled by CPA. These cost saving strategies make it possible for us to provide you the islanded solar and storage system at no cost.

Will the batteries onsite provide grid services?

The primary purpose of the Power Ready program is to provide energy resilience to member agencies’ public facilities. A carve-out has been established for every battery storage system such that the program commitment for resilience can be met.

Under what circumstances does the facility utilize power from the battery?

If the SCE grid goes down, the member agency will be using both the battery and the solar for emergency power.

Is there a portion of the battery that is always on standby for emergencies?

Yes, only 75% of the battery will be flexed by CPA for demand reduction or load shifting. A minimum of 25% percent of the battery is always maintained to meet an unexpected outage. The batteries will be programmed to charge up prior to scheduled outages to give member agencies maximum resilience.

For more information contact:
PowerReady@cleanpoweralliance.org