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State approves energy-buying arrangement for Brockport and others 

A power-purchasing initiative backed by local climate activists received an important state approval today.

The State Public Service Commission approved Joule Assets' plan to administer a community choice aggregation program for the Village of Brockport, the Village of Lima, the Town of Geneva, and three other communities across the state, if those local governments decide to move forward.

Community choice aggregation allows local governments to cooperatively negotiate fixed-rate energy supply contracts for their residents and smaller businesses. It can also serve as a mechanism for local governments to secure cost-effective renewable energy supplies for their residents and businesses, in turn supporting local renewables projects. Typically, a local government enlists an administrator like Joule to handle the logistics and help solicit energy contract bids.

Joule's plan is favored by local climate activists because it incorporates purchasing from local renewable projects — particularly shared solar arrays — directly into its program.

Locally, Joule will work with the Rochester People's Climate Coalition, which will serve as the Rochester-organizer. RPCC will do outreach, help people learn about CCA, and will be responsible for things such as customer support. The approval allows Joule and the climate coalition to start gathering data about energy use in the local communities, which they'll use to develop the program.

Coalition members have said they hope other local governments sign on with Joule.

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