Central New York is taking the next step in the fight against climate change with something called Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA. It’s going to be one of the major topics at a regional Climate Solutions Summit in Syracuse this weekend, as the city hopes to take the lead on an energy supply model that uses renewable energy.
Common Councilor Joe Driscoll said it’s a fairly simple solution. Because of its population, the city uses its buying clout to purchase renewable energy like solar or wind power, and provides it to residents at a lower cost.
“It’s reaching out and trying to find better deals and hopefully getting renewable implemented to a greater extent than it currently is,” said Driscoll.
And it’s worked elsewhere. In New York State, Westchester County established a successful CCA.
“They were able to save their citizens $10 million in a year through this effort and they switched to 100-percent renewable,” Driscoll said.
The city has started holding meetings on the issue, and would be a major player because of its larger population. Six towns and villages in central New York have already signed up with some kind of CCA, according to Chris Carrick of the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board. And he expects that is only the beginning.
“It can be a long process to educate the community about how exactly it works. It’s not something you do quickly,” said Carrick. “But I expect over the next year or so you’re going to see programs come online.”