NCPA’s long term record of stewardship is a founding principle and reflects the values of the cities, towns, and districts that are members of the Agency. NCPA is run not by investors but by locally elected or appointed officials who serve as the energy regulators of the Agency’s member utilities. Because these individuals live and work in their communities, and remain directly accountable for the utility service to their customers (and neighbors), they provide a combination of industry knowledge and customer responsiveness that makes for an effective governing body.
NCPA’s portfolio of power plants is among the cleanest in the nation. Our owned generation facilities include geothermal and hydropower plants that have operated since the 1980s, and a state-of-the-art, fast-start natural gas facility built in 2012. NCPA’s major generation assets are the 102 megawatt (MW) Geysers geothermal plants; the 259 MW North Fork Stanislaus River hydroelectric facility; and the 300 MW natural gas-fired Lodi Energy Center.
Approximately half of the Agency’s portfolio is emission free. Greenhouse gas emissions from the Agency’s fleet of plants are well below the California state average and are significantly below statewide greenhouse gas emission targets proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NCPA has been a pioneer in use of innovative technologies to benefit the environment. Examples include: the world’s first integrated wastewater geothermal system that greatly prolongs the life of this invaluable renewable resource; the world’s first “downhole” hydroelectric turbine generator installed at a geothermal injection well; the United States’ first “fast start” combined-cycle natural gas turbines, which not only are highly efficient but also are designed to work hand in glove with intermittent renewables such as solar and wind to help achieve the state’s renewable energy goals.
In the Sierra range, the Agency has enhanced 300 acres of wildlife habitat, set aside $1 million for the U.S. Forest Service to use as needed, and has spent an additional quarter of a million dollars to optimize environmentally sensitive public access to Big Trees State Park in Calaveras County. NCPA, together with other power customers of the Central Valley Project (CVP), also contributed $20.5 million to the CVP Restoration Fund in 2013 alone—more than called for by the CVP Improvement Act.
The 16 locally owned utility members of NCPA collectively have spent more than $100 million on energy efficiency programs since 2006, reducing demand for electricity by more than 350 gigawatt hours, decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.
All NCPA members are in full compliance with the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program and are well positioned to exceed California’s 33% RPS target for 2020 and 50% level for 2030. NCPA’s collective portfolio, currently 32% renewable, exceeds the state’s target of 27% by the end of 2017. That excludes large hydropower (>30MW), which under state statute is not eligible to be counted toward meeting California’s RPS. However, when large hydropower generation and purchases are considered, NCPA’s percentage of renewables jumps from 32% to 56%.