California Opportunities for Procurement to Accelerate Clean Energy (Cal-Op ACE)
December 20, 2023
Energy Research and Development (500)
Doug Davenport, Isle Villacorta
California Opportunities Procurement Program Accelerate Clean Energy is a California Energy Commission-funded program designed to accelerate the deployment of best-in-class distributed energy resources (DERs) at the speed and scale required to meet the state's decarbonization goals. Empower Procurement, the program’s market-facing name, bridged the gap between DER "sellers" and California-based "buyer" organizations by improving institutional procurement processes and outcomes.
Led by Prospect Silicon Valley, the primary project partners included Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Energy Solutions, and ZNE Alliance. The four-year, $4 million project created an integrated set of DER Procurement Initiatives: DER Products and Services, Vehicle Fleet Electrification, Building Decarbonization, DER Consulting Practices, and Contract Language. The team engaged client partners from local governments, higher education, and K-12 schools to identify specific measures that addressed procurement barriers, produced measurable energy cost savings and reductions in carbon emissions, and scaled across similar institutions. In addition, a Working Group of expert stakeholders identified measurable and scalable improvements in the design and deployment of Electronic Procurement Systems to improve and standardize DER procurement.
The project team shared insights from these initiatives across public sector institutions by hosting webinars and workshops throughout the grant, and it provided technical assistance for the more complex sectors undertaking fleet electrification and building decarbonization.
The Empower Procurement effort declared a goal of identifying pathways to achieve annual energy savings of $322 million and annual greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 780,000 metric tons of CO2e (MTCO2e). The observations and recommendations of the project initiatives identified pathways to avoid emissions of more than 1 million MTCO2e across the local government, schools, and higher education sectors.