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AB-721 Renewable energy resources: solar energy systems.(2011-2012)

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AB721:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 721


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Bradford

February 17, 2011


An act to amend Section 399.12 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 721, as introduced, Bradford. Renewable energy resources: solar energy systems.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations, as defined. The Public Utilities Act imposes various duties and responsibilities on the commission with respect to the purchase of electricity and requires the commission to review and adopt a procurement plan and a renewable energy procurement plan for each electrical corporation pursuant to the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program. The renewables portfolio standard program requires that a retail seller of electricity purchase a specified minimum percentage of electricity generated by eligible renewable energy resources, as defined, in any given year as a specified percentage of total kilowatthours sold to retail end-use customers each calendar year. Existing law defines “renewable energy credit” to mean a certificate of proof associated with the generation of electricity from an eligible renewable energy resource, issued through a specified accounting system, that one unit of electricity was generated and delivered by an eligible renewable energy resource.
This bill would expand the definition of an eligible renewable energy resource to include a facility that generates, or a renewable energy credit associated with the generation of, electricity from an eligible solar energy system that receives monetary incentives pursuant to specified law.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 399.12 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

399.12.
 For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Conduit hydroelectric facility” means a facility for the generation of electricity that uses only the hydroelectric potential of an existing pipe, ditch, flume, siphon, tunnel, canal, or other manmade conduit that is operated to distribute water for a beneficial use.
(b) “Delivered” and “delivery” have the same meaning as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 25741 of the Public Resources Code.
(c) “Eligible renewable energy resource” means an either of the following:
(1) An electrical generating facility that meets the definition of an “in-state renewable electricity generation facility” in Section 25741 of the Public Resources Code, subject to the following limitations:

(1)(A)

(A) (i) An existing small hydroelectric generation facility of 30 megawatts or less shall be eligible only if a retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility owned or procured the electricity from the facility as of December 31, 2005. A new hydroelectric facility is not an eligible renewable energy resource if it will cause an adverse impact on instream beneficial uses or cause a change in the volume or timing of streamflow.

(B)

(ii) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) clause (i), a conduit hydroelectric facility of 30 megawatts or less that commenced operation before January 1, 2006, is an eligible renewable energy resource. A conduit hydroelectric facility of 30 megawatts or less that commences operation after December 31, 2005, is an eligible renewable energy resource so long as it does not cause an adverse impact on instream beneficial uses or cause a change in the volume or timing of streamflow.

(2)

(B) A facility engaged in the combustion of municipal solid waste shall not be considered an eligible renewable energy resource unless it is located in Stanislaus County and was operational prior to September 26, 1996.
(2) A facility that generates, or a renewable energy credit associated with the generation of, electricity from an eligible solar energy system that receives monetary incentives pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 2851) of Chapter 9 of Part 2.
(d) “Procure” means to acquire through ownership or contract. For purposes of meeting the renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements, a retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility may procure either delivered electricity generated by an eligible renewable energy resource that it owns or for which it has entered into an electricity purchase agreement. Nothing in this article is intended to imply that the purchase of electricity from third parties in a wholesale transaction is the preferred method of fulfilling a retail seller’s obligation to comply with this article or the obligation of a local publicly owned electric utility to meet its renewables portfolio standard implemented pursuant to Section 387.
(e) (1) “Renewable energy credit” means a certificate of proof associated with the generation of electricity from an eligible renewable energy resource, issued through the accounting system established by the Energy Commission pursuant to Section 399.13, that one unit of electricity was generated and delivered by an eligible renewable energy resource.
(2) “Renewable energy credit” includes all renewable and environmental attributes associated with the production of electricity from the eligible renewable energy resource, except for an emissions reduction credit issued pursuant to Section 40709 of the Health and Safety Code and any credits or payments associated with the reduction of solid waste and treatment benefits created by the utilization of biomass or biogas fuels.
(3) No electricity Electricity generated by an eligible renewable energy resource attributable to the use of nonrenewable fuels, beyond a de minimis quantity used to generate electricity in the same process through which the facility converts renewable fuel to electricity, shall not result in the creation of a renewable energy credit. The Energy Commission shall set the de minimis quantity of nonrenewable fuels for each renewable energy technology at a level of no more than 2 percent of the total quantity of fuel used by the technology to generate electricity. The Energy Commission may adjust the de minimis quantity for an individual facility, up to a maximum of 5 percent, if it finds that all of the following conditions are met:
(A) The facility demonstrates that the higher quantity of nonrenewable fuel will lead to an increase in generation from the eligible renewable energy facility that is significantly greater than generation from the nonrenewable fuel alone.
(B) The facility demonstrates that the higher quantity of nonrenewable fuels will reduce the variability of its electrical output in a manner that results in net environmental benefits to the state.
(C) The higher quantity of nonrenewable fuel is limited to either natural gas or hydrogen derived by reformation of a fossil fuel.
(f) “Renewables portfolio standard” means the specified percentage of electricity generated by eligible renewable energy resources that a retail seller is required to procure pursuant to this article or the obligation of a local publicly owned electric utility to meet its renewables portfolio standard implemented pursuant to Section 387.
(g) “Retail seller” means an entity engaged in the retail sale of electricity to end-use customers located within the state, including any of the following:
(1) An electrical corporation, as defined in Section 218.
(2) A community choice aggregator. The commission shall institute a rulemaking to determine the manner in which a community choice aggregator will participate in the renewables portfolio standard program subject to the same terms and conditions applicable to an electrical corporation.
(3) An electric service provider, as defined in Section 218.3, for all sales of electricity to customers beginning January 1, 2006. The commission shall institute a rulemaking to determine the manner in which electric service providers will participate in the renewables portfolio standard program. The electric service provider shall be subject to the same terms and conditions applicable to an electrical corporation pursuant to this article. Nothing in this paragraph shall impair a contract entered into between an electric service provider and a retail customer prior to the suspension of direct access by the commission pursuant to Section 80110 of the Water Code.
(4) “Retail seller” does not include any of the following:
(A) A corporation or person employing cogeneration technology or producing electricity consistent with subdivision (b) of Section 218.
(B) The Department of Water Resources acting in its capacity pursuant to Division 27 (commencing with Section 80000) of the Water Code.
(C) A local publicly owned electric utility.