CPUC Issues New Renewables Rulemaking Addressing SB 2X Implementation, RPS Changes, and Renewables Integration

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On May 5, 2011, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a new Rulemaking 11-05-005 (RPS Rulemaking) to continue implementation and administration of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program.

The RPS Rulemaking is intended to implement amendments to the RPS statutes associated with Senate Bill 2 of the 1st Extraordinary Session (SB 2X), which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on April 12, 2011. SB 2X requires California retail electric providers to, among other matters, procure 33 percent of their retail energy sales from eligible renewable sources by 2020. An earlier DWT advisory summarized SB 2X and can be found here.

As previously reported, certain provisions of SB 2X require the CPUC to transform the statutory language into workable and ideally unambiguous rules—the RPS Rulemaking appears to be the primary forum for interested parties to participate in this process. The RPS Rulemaking covers a broad range of issues, each of which will have far-reaching implications for future compliance with, and participation in, California’s RPS Program.

For these reasons, load serving entities and energy developers (both in-state and out-of-state), should strongly consider at least some level of participation in the RPS Rulemaking.

This advisory summarizes (a) three broad issues to be addressed in the RPS Rulemaking, (b) the schedule for implementation, and (c) how to participate.

The issues to be addressed in the RPS Rulemaking include, (but are not limited to):

Implementation of SB 2X

1. Defining the “Three Bucket” procurement structure

As previously described in our SB 2X advisory, SB 2X establishes a structure under which a certain percentage of renewable energy will be procured from three different “buckets” of RPS eligible resources, including (1) in-state or in-state equivalent products, (2) unbundled renewable energy credits (RECs), and (3) “firmed and shaped products that provide incremental power.”

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