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

Here’s an Energy Law Alert prepared by Seth Hilton, John McKinsey and Stephen Hall:

Last Thursday evening, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) unanimously adopted its Renewable Energy Standard (RES), mandating that California’s electric utilities—both public and investor-owned—procure 33% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020. The RES was adopted pursuant to the authority granted the ARB in AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which vested the ARB with the authority to promulgate regulations to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions. The RES requires utilities to submit plans by July 2012 on how they will comply with the new regulations. The regulation includes several multi-year compliance intervals—from 2012 to 2014 the RES is 20%, from 2015 through 2017 it is 24%, from 2018 to 2019 it is 28%, and from 2020 forward the RES remains at 33%. The RES is met through the retirement of Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS) certificates; unlike the current 20% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that applies to investor-owned utilities, there is no requirement that any energy be delivered to California. WREGIS certificates may be retained or traded for up to three years, utilities may also bank those certificates for RES compliance indefinitely. The RES also provides that ARB will conduct comprehensive reviews of the program by December 31, 2013, 2016, and 2018, and that those reviews may trigger modifications to the RES.Continue Reading Air Resources Board Adopts 33% Renewable Energy Standard; Four California Energy Agencies Vow to Cooperate on Implementation

An alert written by Stoel Rives partner Seth Hilton:

Last night, the California legislature failed to pass Senate Bill 722—the 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) legislation—by the close of the legislative session. The bill would have increased California’s RPS to 33% for both investor-owned and publicly owned utilities. It would also have placed limits on the use of renewable resources located out-of-state to meet California’s RPS—utilities would have been required to meet a certain percentage of their RPS obligations through resources whose first point of interconnection was a California balancing authority, or whose power is transmitted to California through a dynamic transfer arrangement or scheduled hourly or inter-hourly into California. The proposed legislation also would have authorized the use of renewable energy credits (RECs)—the environmental attributes of renewable power separated from the power itself—for RPS compliance, but would have imposed limits on the amount of RECs that could be used to meet the utilities’ RPS obligation.Continue Reading California Legislature Fails to Pass 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard

My colleague Graham Noyes and Clayton McMartin of Clean Fuels Clearinghouse recently published a white paper on the massive and staggeringly complex revision of the federal Advanced Fuel Standard (RFS) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on February 3, 2010. Graham and Clayton describe how this second generation renewable fuel initiative (RFS2) will bring

With 3/5 of the States having Renewable Portfolio Standard in place and the prospect of a Federal RPS, many utilities are seeking to become first time purchasers of the output from wind projects. And utilities with a history of purchasing wind are seeking additional resources. In 2009, the presenters collectively worked on over 40 wind

Last week, the US EPA extended the rulemaking period on RFS 2 until September 25, 2009.  This extends the period by 60 days.  While this rulemaking is  highly complicated and contentious, it is unclear that extending the comment period will improve this situation.  In addition, the effective date of the regulations continues to be delayed.  This

On September 18, 2008, the Michigan legislature sent the state’s first Renewable Portfolio Standard to the Governor’s desk for signature.  The package mandates "10 percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by 2015, regulatory reform that protects Michigan ratepayers and allows utility companies to build new electricity generation in Michigan, and a