When properly designed, a program that incentivizes the deployment of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) can provide substantial financial, environmental, and resilience benefits to Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs), CCA customers, and communities.

Potential DER Program Benefits

  • Reduced procurement costs through load shaping
  • Reduced Resource Adequacy (RA) requirements
  • Reduced NEM payouts
  • Reduced GHG emissions
  • Shared value with customers
  • Increased customer engagement
  • Increased customer resiliency
  • Increased revenue through electrification

However, there is a substantial challenge in developing the right strategy and properly implementing these DER Programs. Determining the right DER technologies to incentivize under the right program terms to the right customer segments, can be extremely challenging given the size and variability of the data that has to be evaluated. Optimizing for cost reductions, increased revenues, reduced GHG emissions, and Power Content Label benefits is an incredibly complex exercise. And there are several risks in deploying DER projects.


TerraVerde is a leading independent distributed energy and energy efficiency consulting firm primarily focused on California public agencies and is highly experienced in providing distributed energy resource (DER) program development services to California Community Choice Aggregation Agencies (CCAs). In addition to the successful implementation and ongoing operation of over 100 MWs of solar and storage at 70 sites (for which we have provided feasibility analyses, project development, project implementation management, commissioning, and ongoing asset management services), we have been selected to be the lead technical consultant on competitive R&D projects to serve California CCAs and others with DER services, including R&D projects funded by the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Lab and two others by the California Energy Commission. We have deep knowledge about the proper methods of analyzing the costs and benefits of such installations, and the challenges and best practices in procurement and deployment of these assets. Finally, our DER software, R&D, and program development work with CCAs over the past three years, provides TerraVerde with significant insights into the opportunities DER Programs can provide to CCAs.

Program Design Services

  • Partner with CCAs in establishing DER Program Goals
  • Assess DER technology options
  • Model DER Program iterations optimizing for CCA and customer benefits
  • Identify target / optimal customer segments & accounts
  • Assess project financing options
  • Deliver a detailed DER Program Strategic Plan

Program Deployment & Management Services

  • Customer Acquisition: enlisting customers to subscribe to the program
  • Project Development: including bid solicitation & contract negotiations
  • Project Implementation: overseeing construction and commissioning
  • Asset Management Services: performance optimization & ongoing reporting


Building Efficiency Optimization (BEO) Project

In June 2017, MCE, supported by TerraVerde, the Center for Climate Protection and others, was awarded a $1.7 Million California Energy Commission Local Government Innovation grant to “develop, deploy, and disseminate a solution that leverages distributed energy resources (DERs) as a targeted procurement resource, to optimize building efficiency and the deployment of DERs on a community-wide scale.” Under this grant, TerraVerde is developing tools that enable CCAs to identify the best locations for incentivizing customers to implement solar, energy storage and other distributed energy resources. The initial analysis is focusing specifically on batteries paired with existing solar PV systems under NEM. Specifically, the aim of the analysis is to reduce the annual true up cash payout to customers with solar PV systems that are net generators. As part of the Building Energy Optimization (BEO) program, we are developing a program manual which will include marketing and procurement practices for how a CCA would deploy a high volume of customer-sited DERs.

Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN) Project

TerraVerde was also awarded a research grant in 2018 by the National Renewable Energy Lab to work with Peninsula Clean Energy and Lancaster Choice Energy to develop an advanced rate design tool to help CCAs and other load serving entities incentivize the deployment of solar and other distributed energy resources. Initial results of our analysis of CCA’s wholesale procurement costs show that meaningful Day Ahead, Real-time and Resource Adequacy costs can be reduced through deployment of energy storage paired with solar aggregated within a virtual power plant. TerraVerde analysts are using this data in “virtual pilots” to identify specific tariff policies and/or rate designs that will incentivize customer adoption.

Advanced Energy Community (AEC) Project

TerraVerde is also part of a team that was recently awarded a contract by the CEC to implement “Advanced Energy Community” strategies in partnership with the City of Lancaster and Lancaster Choice Energy. Our role involves adding energy storage to existing public agency sites with solar (e.g., Lancaster School District: 1.2 MW storage at 10 sites, including Microgrids at 3 sites) and developing contractual agreements to allow for multi-use applications (MUA) of the storage assets, including participation of the storage assets in LCE’s VPP. Separately, Lancaster Choice Energy has entered into a contract with TerraVerde to assist in the development of a broad based DER Analytics and Development Program that engages customers to participate in the VPP.