The GW Solar Institute collaborated with a number of stakeholders to examine the potential for using Community Choice Aggregation (also known as CCA) to empower local communities to lower electricity bills and increase the use of renewable energy.
The report, Leading from the Middle: How Illinois Communities Unleashed Renewable Energy, analyzes how 90 Illinois communities used CCA to pool their buying power and purchase renewable electricity supplies to meet their local community needs. A key finding was that as a result of the CCA option in Illinois:
"Their freedom of choice increased demand for energy sources like wind and solar by over 6 terawatt hours (TWh)—reducing pollution levels equivalent to taking more than 1 million cars off the road or 250,000 homes off the grid."
Based on the analysis of the Illinois experience, the report also provides recommendations on how other municipalities can utilize CCA in the six states where it is allowed, offers best practices to follow when creating a CCA, and samples of CCA legislation and other materials needed to replicate Illinois’ success.
Contributors to this effort included the World Wildlife Fund, the Illinois Sierra Club, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Illinois Solar Energy Association, LEAN Energy US, and Go Clean Go Local Coalition.
The report, which was released in Illinois at a press conference that included US Senator Dick Durbin, garnered national attention and was featured in a variety of media sources including:
Associated Press: Illinois Commended for Local Renewable Energy Buys
(AP story appeared in over 235 outlets including the Washington Post, NY Times, and USA Today)
Energy Matters: Illinois - The Quiet Renewable Energy Achiever
POLITICO Morning Energy: Many Illinois Communities Choose 100 Percent Renewables
NBC Local News: Normal named EPA Green Power Community
ABC Local News: Report: Illinois Leading The Way In Renewable Energy