On June 3, the California Energy Commission (“CEC”) issued a Notice of Intent to Implement 33 Percent Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”). The new 33% RPS was signed into law by Governor Brown on April 12, 2011. The legislation for the first time expanded the RPS to publicly-owned utilities (“POU”), and tasked the CEC with, among other things, monitoring POU compliance with, and developing regulations to enforce, the new 33% RPS.
The Notice also encourages all regulated entities, including POUs, to participate in the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) proceeding addressing the new RPS, Rulemaking 11-05-005, “so that, where appropriate, the [CEC] and CPUC may coordinate program development.”
The Notice states that the CEC will implement the new RPS through two processes: (1) amending the RPS Eligibility Guidebook through the existing amendment process so that it conforms with the new legislation, and (2) initiating a rulemaking proceeding to address POU compliance. Although the new RPS legislation set a target date of July 1, 2011 for the CEC to adopt regulations for POU compliance, pending legislation (Senate Bill 23) may extend that deadline to July 1, 2012.
On June 6, the CEC also noticed a staff workshop for June 17, 2011 to introduce the scope and a tentative schedule for the rulemaking proceeding concerning POU compliance, and to solicit comments from interested stakeholders. Written comments may also be submitted to the CEC by July 1, 2011.
Citing changes in market conditions, Southern California Edison (SCE) announced last week that it is beginning the process of reforming the standard Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) it uses for its California Renewable Energy Small Tariff (CREST) program. CREST is SCE’s feed-in tariff program for eligible renewable energy projects under 1.5 MW. The PPA for each of these projects is a standard, non-negotiable PPA under either a full buy/sell or excess power purchase program for a term of 10, 15, or 20 years. Of the 247.7 MW allocated to SCE by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for CREST, SCE states that it has 214.1 MW either under contract or in the queue.
In its press release, SCE states that it will publish the proposed pro forma PPA on its website on June 2. It also states that the proposed “CREST PPA is based on SCE’s pro forma Solar Photovoltaic Program PPA for projects less than 5 MWs, and has been modified to make it applicable to all technology types and to be in compliance with the requirements of the CREST Tariff and CPUC Decision (‘D.’) 07-07-27.” Comments on the proposed PPA will be due by June 22, with the submission of the new PPA to the CPUC planned for August 2011.