A legal update from our colleague Seth Hilton:
Ten months after initially authorizing the use of tradable renewable energy credits (TRECs), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today lifted its moratorium on approval of TREC transactions. CPUC Dec. 11-01-025. Today’s decision, however, retains restrictions on TREC transactions that could limit the amount of out-of-state generation that the three major investor-owned utilities can use to meet their California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) obligations.
At its March 11, 2010 meeting, the CPUC authorized the use of TRECs for compliance with the RPS, subject to certain limitations. CPUC Dec. 10-03-021 (March Decision). Among the limitations that the March Decision imposed was a cap limiting the use of TRECs for RPS compliance for the largest investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric) to 25% of their annual RPS compliance obligations. That cap was to remain in place until December 31, 2011, when the CPUC would consider modifying or removing that limitation. The March Decision also imposed a price cap of $50 per TREC. The price cap was also set to expire on December 31, 2011.