By 2020, the city of San Francisco aims to get 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources – and it just got the green ball rolling by giving Local Power a $390,000 contract to design a plan for moving the city’s power sourcing from centralized fossil fuel plants and toward locally generated renewables.

San Francisco is pursuing its goal using a community choice aggregation system (CCA), which allows cities and counties to aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a defined jurisdiction to secure alternative energy supply contracts. Using CleanPowerSF, San Franciscans will be given a choice to purchase green energy from a city-negotiated provider as an alternative to the giant Northern California utilityPacific Gas & Electric. To fulfill CleanPowerSF’s call for “neighborhood-scaled green power,” Local Power will produce request for proposals (RFPs) to deploy at least 210 megawatts of renewable, localized energy technologies and distributed solar for San Francisco residents and businesses by 2017. Local Power will spend the next year completing a cost model, implementation schedule, and analysis of potential development sites to complete the RFPs by late 2012.

San Francisco, 100 percent renewables

image via Shutterstock

San Francisco is not alone in its local energy initiative. Local Power founder Paul Penn drafted the country’s first community choice aggregation bill, which has since spurred similar CCA laws across the country. Community choice programs currently provide service to over 1 million Americans, with hundreds of U.S. cities in the planning and implementation phase, according to Local Power.

When all is said and done, Local Power believes this project “promises to make San Francisco the world leader in green power, substantially reducing greenhouse gas pollution, and making innovative green technologies the standard rather than the exception, and creating new localgreen jobs here in San Francisco – all while maintaining competitive power bills.”