The Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), a California Joint Action Agency, was originally established in 1968 as a forum through which community-owned utilities could prevent costly market abuses employed by private utilities at that time, and to make investments that would ensure an affordable, reliable, and clean supply of energy for electricity customers in its member communities. NCPA membership includes municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, and other publicly owned entities interested in the purchase, aggregation, scheduling, and management of electrical energy. Most critically for its 15 members, NCPA constructs, operates, and maintains a fleet of cutting-edge power plants that serve more than 600,000 residents with clean, reliable, and affordable electricity all across California.
The Agency is overseen by knowledgeable leaders from member communities. These are locally elected or appointed officials who serve as the energy regulators in their cities, towns, and districts, and volunteer their time for NCPA governance. Because these individuals live and work in close proximity to their consumers, and remain directly accountable for the utility service in their communities, they provide an extremely responsive and effective governing body. Over the years, they have fostered a culture of innovation and charted a visionary course of technological innovation and environmental stewardship.
NCPA today owns and operates a 600MW portfolio of electricity generation resources that is among the cleanest in the U.S. The Agency’s plants—geothermal, hydroelectric, and natural gas— together constitute one of the cleanest generation portfolios in the nation. Unique among joint action agencies, NCPA allows individual members to choose the level of participation in the Agency’s generation resources, and thus create their own generation mix of renewable resources.
NCPA marshals the benefits of joint action to offer scores of cost-effective services, programs, and investment opportunities for its members. Members can tailor the Agency’s offering to meet the needs and desires of their local community or district. Key functions and services include:
• Building, operating, and maintaining NCPA’s 600MW of owned generation facilities located throughout Northern California.
• Issuing bonds to finance and build new generation resources to meet member needs.
• Dispatching energy 24/7 to utilities to meet the real-time electricity needs of customers.
• Making market purchases to provide power supply as needed to enable members to serve their customers reliably and cost effectively.
• Planning and forecasting electricity demand and long-term supply requirements of members, as well as monitoring market conditions for electricity, natural gas, environmental products, and transmission and pipeline availability. This suite of services assures the lowest possible rates for customers of NCPA member utilities.
• Representing the Agency and its members in state and federal legislative and regulatory forums. Partnering with state and federal policymakers to protect consumers and promote sound energy and environmental policies.
• Providing opportunities, through joint-action, to capture best practices and optimize retail customer programs that are locally tailored and administered by members. These include energy efficiency programs, low-income programs, and economic development.