BBSW Supports CalChoice as Regulatory Counsel
Braun Blaising Smith Wynne P.C. (BBSW), a Sacramento-based law firm that represents public agencies on a variety of energy-related matters, serves as regulatory counsel for the California Choice Energy Authority (CalChoice).
“BBSW’s attorneys are public power pioneers,” said CalChoice Executive Director Jason Caudle. “Their longstanding involvement with Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), direct engagement in developing and implementing energy-related policies, and first-hand experience with operational and technical matters provide a unique benefit for CalChoice as well as their public agency clients.”
“The CalChoice model offers significant benefits to its associate members,” said BBSW Partner Scott Blaising, a former area manager for Southern California Edison. “Keeping each associate member’s structure as local as possible allows their city council to participate and empowers their residents and businesses to have a direct voice.”
As counsel for CalChoice, BBSW provides broad-spectrum regulatory analysis, reports, and support in forums including the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Energy Commission. For example, said Blaising, when a CalChoice associate member seeks CPUC approval and funding for an energy efficiency program, BBSW helps develop an advice letter. Later this year, BBSW will submit an advice letter supporting CalChoice associate members’ development of a disadvantaged community program that will support the implementation of local solar projects.
BBSW provides timely, relevant advice with a three-pronged approach to monitoring and responding to the energy market: leveraging their longevity and experience to recognize trends, analyzing and reporting on regulatory issues to retain familiarity and to identify changes as they arise, and cultivating in-house subject matter experts with deep exposure to their particular fields.
Over the next 10 years, Blaising anticipates guiding CalChoice through transformative advancements in transportation electrification and energy storage, as well as increased focus on self-sustaining microgrids that will rely on technologies such as better storage and solar arrays. Another development on which he is tracking is municipalization, projecting that some cities may become so comfortable with the CCA approach that they may consider becoming municipal utilities and developing the associated physical infrastructure to further support the business model.
“We’re actively involved and engaged with CalChoice,” said Blaising. “We’re able to really get deep into certain matters and participate with a unique, insider’s view of what’s happening. The autonomy given to the CalChoice support team cultivates creativity; it’s a very positive experience.”
Braun Blaising Smith Wynne P.C. (BBSW) provides legal services on energy -related issues, representing public agencies on matters including market and regulatory advocacy, commercial negotiations, public agency law, environmental regulation, and legislative support. Instrumental in the formation and implementation of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in California, BBSW served as counsel for the San Joaquin Valley Power Authority, the first public agency in California to develop a CCA program, and continues to serve as counsel for numerous CCA programs. For more information, please visit www.braunlegal.com.
CalChoice offers support for local governments in every phase of the CCA program implementation process, providing feasibility services to determine whether a CCA program is appropriate, developing implementation plans for members to submit to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and managing the implementation process to launch the CCA program, as well as continuing to support members once their CCA program becomes operational. To learn more about partnering opportunities with CalChoice, please visit www.CaliforniaChoiceEnergyAuthority.com.