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AB-2363 Electricity procurement.(2013-2014)

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AB2363:v92#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2363
CHAPTER 610

An act to amend Sections 399.13 and 454.5 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy.

[ Approved by Governor  September 26, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  September 26, 2014. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2363, Dahle. Electricity procurement.
(1) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations, as defined, while local publicly owned electric utilities, as defined, are under the direction of their governing board. The Public Utilities Act imposes various duties and responsibilities on the Public Utilities 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 Public Utilities Act requires the Public Utilities Commission to review and adopt an overall procurement plan for each electrical corporation to meet electricity demand for its customers in accordance with specified elements, incentive mechanisms, and objectives. The act requires the Public Utilities Commission to review and accept, modify, or reject each electrical corporation’s procurement plan and requires that each approved procurement plan accomplish specified objectives.
This bill would require the Public Utilities Commission to direct electrical corporations to include in their proposed procurement plans the costs of integrating an eligible renewable energy resource, as specified.
(2) The California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program requires a retail seller, as defined, and local publicly owned electric utilities to purchase specified minimum quantities of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources, as defined, for specified compliance periods. The program, consistent with the goals of procuring the least-cost and best-fit eligible renewable energy resources that meet project viability principles, requires that all retail sellers procure a balanced portfolio of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources, as specified, referred to as the portfolio content requirements. The program requires the commission to adopt, by rulemaking, a process that provides criteria for the rank ordering and selecting of least-cost and best-fit eligible renewable energy resources to comply with the program obligations on a total cost basis, taking into account specified matter.
This bill additionally would require the commission to adopt, by rulemaking, by December 31, 2015, a methodology for determining the costs of integrating an eligible renewable energy resource.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California is leading the world in adopting comprehensive programs that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, including passage of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code) and the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code).
(b) The state has an abundant supply of renewable energy resources, including geothermal, biomass, biomethane, wind, and solar, that has contributed to the state’s ability to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases and meet its renewables portfolio standard procurement targets.
(c) It is in the public’s interest that the state continue to promote policies to ensure eligible renewable energy resources be procured and contributed to the state’s ability to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and meet the targets of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code).
(d) There are eligible renewable energy resources in the state that, if developed and retained, would not require additional capacity to maintain the reliability of the bulk electrical system and could generate during periods in which electricity is likely to be the most valuable, prospectively.
(e) Procuring and retaining a diversified portfolio of eligible renewable energy resources may do all of the following:
(1) Assist electrical corporations in satisfying renewable energy procurement and greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals in a cost-effective manner.
(2) Partially meet peak load requirements with electricity generated by eligible renewable energy resources, which will have substantial benefits from reduced emissions of greenhouse gases, and cobenefits from reduced emissions of criteria pollutants.
(3) Maintain the reliability of the electrical grid to meet demand for electricity on a 24-hour basis.
(4) Contribute to local employment and economic growth throughout the state.

SEC. 2.

 Section 399.13 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

399.13.
 (a) (1) The commission shall direct each electrical corporation to annually prepare a renewable energy procurement plan that includes the matter in paragraph (5), to satisfy its obligations under the renewables portfolio standard. To the extent feasible, this procurement plan shall be proposed, reviewed, and adopted by the commission as part of, and pursuant to, a general procurement plan process. The commission shall require each electrical corporation to review and update its renewable energy procurement plan as it determines to be necessary.
(2) Every electrical corporation that owns electrical transmission facilities shall annually prepare, as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 890 process, and submit to the commission, a report identifying any electrical transmission facility, upgrade, or enhancement that is reasonably necessary to achieve the renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements of this article. Each report shall look forward at least five years and, to ensure that adequate investments are made in a timely manner, shall include a preliminary schedule when an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity will be made, pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1001), for any electrical transmission facility identified as being reasonably necessary to achieve the renewable energy resources procurement requirements of this article. Each electrical corporation that owns electrical transmission facilities shall ensure that project-specific interconnection studies are completed in a timely manner.
(3) The commission shall direct each retail seller to prepare and submit an annual compliance report that includes all of the following:
(A) The current status and progress made during the prior year toward procurement of eligible renewable energy resources as a percentage of retail sales, including, if applicable, the status of any necessary siting and permitting approvals from federal, state, and local agencies for those eligible renewable energy resources procured by the retail seller, and the current status of compliance with the portfolio content requirements of subdivision (c) of Section 399.16, including procurement of eligible renewable energy resources located outside the state and within the WECC and unbundled renewable energy credits.
(B) If the retail seller is an electrical corporation, the current status and progress made during the prior year toward construction of, and upgrades to, transmission and distribution facilities and other electrical system components it owns to interconnect eligible renewable energy resources and to supply the electricity generated by those resources to load, including the status of planning, siting, and permitting transmission facilities by federal, state, and local agencies.
(C) Recommendations to remove impediments to making progress toward achieving the renewable energy resources procurement requirements established pursuant to this article.
(4) The commission shall adopt, by rulemaking, all of the following:
(A) A process that provides criteria for the rank ordering and selection of least-cost and best-fit eligible renewable energy resources to comply with the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program obligations on a total cost basis. This process shall take into account all of the following:
(i) Estimates of indirect costs associated with needed transmission investments.
(ii) The cost impact of procuring the eligible renewable energy resources on the electrical corporation’s electricity portfolio.
(iii) The viability of the project to construct and reliably operate the eligible renewable energy resource, including the developer’s experience, the feasibility of the technology used to generate electricity, and the risk that the facility will not be built, or that construction will be delayed, with the result that electricity will not be supplied as required by the contract.
(iv) Workforce recruitment, training, and retention efforts, including the employment growth associated with the construction and operation of eligible renewable energy resources and goals for recruitment and training of women, minorities, and disabled veterans.
(v) (I) Estimates of electrical corporation expenses resulting from integrating and operating eligible renewable energy resources, including, but not limited to, any additional wholesale energy and capacity costs associated with integrating each eligible renewable resource.
(II) No later than December 31, 2015, the commission shall approve a methodology for determining the integration costs described in subclause (I).
(B) Rules permitting retail sellers to accumulate, beginning January 1, 2011, excess procurement in one compliance period to be applied to any subsequent compliance period. The rules shall apply equally to all retail sellers. In determining the quantity of excess procurement for the applicable compliance period, the commission shall deduct from actual procurement quantities the total amount of procurement associated with contracts of less than 10 years in duration. In no event shall electricity products meeting the portfolio content of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 399.16 be counted as excess procurement.
(C) Standard terms and conditions to be used by all electrical corporations in contracting for eligible renewable energy resources, including performance requirements for renewable generators. A contract for the purchase of electricity generated by an eligible renewable energy resource, at a minimum, shall include the renewable energy credits associated with all electricity generation specified under the contract. The standard terms and conditions shall include the requirement that, no later than six months after the commission’s approval of an electricity purchase agreement entered into pursuant to this article, the following information about the agreement shall be disclosed by the commission: party names, resource type, project location, and project capacity.
(D) An appropriate minimum margin of procurement above the minimum procurement level necessary to comply with the renewables portfolio standard to mitigate the risk that renewable projects planned or under contract are delayed or canceled. This paragraph does not preclude an electrical corporation from voluntarily proposing a margin of procurement above the appropriate minimum margin established by the commission.
(5) Consistent with the goal of increasing California’s reliance on eligible renewable energy resources, the renewable energy procurement plan submitted by an electrical corporation shall include all of the following:
(A) An assessment of annual or multiyear portfolio supplies and demand to determine the optimal mix of eligible renewable energy resources with deliverability characteristics that may include peaking, dispatchable, baseload, firm, and as-available capacity.
(B) Potential compliance delays related to the conditions described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 399.15.
(C) A bid solicitation setting forth the need for eligible renewable energy resources of each deliverability characteristic, required online dates, and locational preferences, if any.
(D) A status update on the development schedule of all eligible renewable energy resources currently under contract.
(E) Consideration of mechanisms for price adjustments associated with the costs of key components for eligible renewable energy resource projects with online dates more than 24 months after the date of contract execution.
(F) An assessment of the risk that an eligible renewable energy resource will not be built, or that construction will be delayed, with the result that electricity will not be delivered as required by the contract.
(6) In soliciting and procuring eligible renewable energy resources, each electrical corporation shall offer contracts of no less than 10 years duration, unless the commission approves of a contract of shorter duration.
(7) In soliciting and procuring eligible renewable energy resources for California-based projects, each electrical corporation shall give preference to renewable energy projects that provide environmental and economic benefits to communities afflicted with poverty or high unemployment, or that suffer from high emission levels of toxic air contaminants, criteria air pollutants, and greenhouse gases.
(b) A retail seller may enter into a combination of long- and short-term contracts for electricity and associated renewable energy credits. The commission may authorize a retail seller to enter into a contract of less than 10 years’ duration with an eligible renewable energy resource, if the commission has established, for each retail seller, minimum quantities of eligible renewable energy resources to be procured through contracts of at least 10 years’ duration.
(c) The commission shall review and accept, modify, or reject each electrical corporation’s renewable energy resource procurement plan prior to the commencement of renewable energy procurement pursuant to this article by an electrical corporation.
(d) Unless previously preapproved by the commission, an electrical corporation shall submit a contract for the generation of an eligible renewable energy resource to the commission for review and approval consistent with an approved renewable energy resource procurement plan. If the commission determines that the bid prices are elevated due to a lack of effective competition among the bidders, the commission shall direct the electrical corporation to renegotiate the contracts or conduct a new solicitation.
(e) If an electrical corporation fails to comply with a commission order adopting a renewable energy resource procurement plan, the commission shall exercise its authority pursuant to Section 2113 to require compliance. The commission shall enforce comparable penalties on any retail seller that is not an electrical corporation that fails to meet the procurement targets established pursuant to Section 399.15.
(f) (1) The commission may authorize a procurement entity to enter into contracts on behalf of customers of a retail seller for electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources to satisfy the retail seller’s renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements. The commission shall not require any person or corporation to act as a procurement entity or require any party to purchase eligible renewable energy resources from a procurement entity.
(2) Subject to review and approval by the commission, the procurement entity shall be permitted to recover reasonable administrative and procurement costs through the retail rates of end-use customers that are served by the procurement entity and are directly benefiting from the procurement of eligible renewable energy resources.
(g) Procurement and administrative costs associated with contracts entered into by an electrical corporation for eligible renewable energy resources pursuant to this article and approved by the commission are reasonable and prudent and shall be recoverable in rates.
(h) Construction, alteration, demolition, installation, and repair work on an eligible renewable energy resource that receives production incentives pursuant to Section 25742 of the Public Resources Code, including work performed to qualify, receive, or maintain production incentives, are “public works” for the purposes of Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1720) of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Labor Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 454.5 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

454.5.
 (a) The commission shall specify the allocation of electricity, including quantity, characteristics, and duration of electricity delivery, that the Department of Water Resources shall provide under its power purchase agreements to the customers of each electrical corporation, which shall be reflected in the electrical corporation’s proposed procurement plan. Each electrical corporation shall file a proposed procurement plan with the commission not later than 60 days after the commission specifies the allocation of electricity. The proposed procurement plan shall specify the date that the electrical corporation intends to resume procurement of electricity for its retail customers, consistent with its obligation to serve. After the commission’s adoption of a procurement plan, the commission shall allow not less than 60 days before the electrical corporation resumes procurement pursuant to this section.
(b) An electrical corporation’s proposed procurement plan shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) An assessment of the price risk associated with the electrical corporation’s portfolio, including any utility-retained generation, existing power purchase and exchange contracts, and proposed contracts or purchases under which an electrical corporation will procure electricity, electricity demand reductions, and electricity-related products and the remaining open position to be served by spot market transactions.
(2) A definition of each electricity product, electricity-related product, and procurement related financial product, including support and justification for the product type and amount to be procured under the plan.
(3) The duration of the plan.
(4) The duration, timing, and range of quantities of each product to be procured.
(5) A competitive procurement process under which the electrical corporation may request bids for procurement-related services, including the format and criteria of that procurement process.
(6) An incentive mechanism, if any incentive mechanism is proposed, including the type of transactions to be covered by that mechanism, their respective procurement benchmarks, and other parameters needed to determine the sharing of risks and benefits.
(7) The upfront standards and criteria by which the acceptability and eligibility for rate recovery of a proposed procurement transaction will be known by the electrical corporation prior to execution of the transaction. This shall include an expedited approval process for the commission’s review of proposed contracts and subsequent approval or rejection thereof. The electrical corporation shall propose alternative procurement choices in the event a contract is rejected.
(8) Procedures for updating the procurement plan.
(9) A showing that the procurement plan will achieve the following:
(A) The electrical corporation, in order to fulfill its unmet resource needs, shall procure resources from eligible renewable energy resources in an amount sufficient to meet its procurement requirements pursuant to the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3).
(B) The electrical corporation shall create or maintain a diversified procurement portfolio consisting of both short-term and long-term electricity and electricity-related and demand reduction products.
(C) The electrical corporation shall first meet its unmet resource needs through all available energy efficiency and demand reduction resources that are cost effective, reliable, and feasible.
(10) The electrical corporation’s risk management policy, strategy, and practices, including specific measures of price stability.
(11) A plan to achieve appropriate increases in diversity of ownership and diversity of fuel supply of nonutility electrical generation.
(12) A mechanism for recovery of reasonable administrative costs related to procurement in the generation component of rates.
(c) The commission shall review and accept, modify, or reject each electrical corporation’s procurement plan. The commission’s review shall consider each electrical corporation’s individual procurement situation, and shall give strong consideration to that situation in determining which one or more of the features set forth in this subdivision shall apply to that electrical corporation. A procurement plan approved by the commission shall contain one or more of the following features, provided that the commission may not approve a feature or mechanism for an electrical corporation if it finds that the feature or mechanism would impair the restoration of an electrical corporation’s creditworthiness or would lead to a deterioration of an electrical corporation’s creditworthiness:
(1) A competitive procurement process under which the electrical corporation may request bids for procurement-related services. The commission shall specify the format of that procurement process, as well as criteria to ensure that the auction process is open and adequately subscribed. Any purchases made in compliance with the commission-authorized process shall be recovered in the generation component of rates.
(2) An incentive mechanism that establishes a procurement benchmark or benchmarks and authorizes the electrical corporation to procure from the market, subject to comparing the electrical corporation’s performance to the commission-authorized benchmark or benchmarks. The incentive mechanism shall be clear, achievable, and contain quantifiable objectives and standards. The incentive mechanism shall contain balanced risk and reward incentives that limit the risk and reward of an electrical corporation.
(3) Upfront achievable standards and criteria by which the acceptability and eligibility for rate recovery of a proposed procurement transaction will be known by the electrical corporation prior to the execution of the bilateral contract for the transaction. The commission shall provide for expedited review and either approve or reject the individual contracts submitted by the electrical corporation to ensure compliance with its procurement plan. To the extent the commission rejects a proposed contract pursuant to this criteria, the commission shall designate alternative procurement choices obtained in the procurement plan that will be recoverable for ratemaking purposes.
(d) A procurement plan approved by the commission shall accomplish each of the following objectives:
(1) Enable the electrical corporation to fulfill its obligation to serve its customers at just and reasonable rates.
(2) Eliminate the need for after-the-fact reasonableness reviews of an electrical corporation’s actions in compliance with an approved procurement plan, including resulting electricity procurement contracts, practices, and related expenses. However, the commission may establish a regulatory process to verify and ensure that each contract was administered in accordance with the terms of the contract, and contract disputes that may arise are reasonably resolved.
(3) Ensure timely recovery of prospective procurement costs incurred pursuant to an approved procurement plan. The commission shall establish rates based on forecasts of procurement costs adopted by the commission, actual procurement costs incurred, or combination thereof, as determined by the commission. The commission shall establish power procurement balancing accounts to track the differences between recorded revenues and costs incurred pursuant to an approved procurement plan. The commission shall review the power procurement balancing accounts, not less than semiannually, and shall adjust rates or order refunds, as necessary, to promptly amortize a balancing account, according to a schedule determined by the commission. Until January 1, 2006, the commission shall ensure that any overcollection or undercollection in the power procurement balancing account does not exceed 5 percent of the electrical corporation’s actual recorded generation revenues for the prior calendar year excluding revenues collected for the Department of Water Resources. The commission shall determine the schedule for amortizing the overcollection or undercollection in the balancing account to ensure that the 5 percent threshold is not exceeded. After January 1, 2006, this adjustment shall occur when deemed appropriate by the commission consistent with the objectives of this section.
(4) Moderate the price risk associated with serving its retail customers, including the price risk embedded in its long-term supply contracts, by authorizing an electrical corporation to enter into financial and other electricity-related product contracts.
(5) Provide for just and reasonable rates, with an appropriate balancing of price stability and price level in the electrical corporation’s procurement plan.
(e) The commission shall provide for the periodic review and prospective modification of an electrical corporation’s procurement plan.
(f) The commission may engage an independent consultant or advisory service to evaluate risk management and strategy. The reasonable costs of any consultant or advisory service is a reimbursable expense and eligible for funding pursuant to Section 631.
(g) The commission shall adopt appropriate procedures to ensure the confidentiality of any market sensitive information submitted in an electrical corporation’s proposed procurement plan or resulting from or related to its approved procurement plan, including, but not limited to, proposed or executed power purchase agreements, data request responses, or consultant reports, or any combination, provided that the Office of Ratepayer Advocates and other consumer groups that are nonmarket participants shall be provided access to this information under confidentiality procedures authorized by the commission.
(h) Nothing in this section alters, modifies, or amends the commission’s oversight of affiliate transactions under its rules and decisions or the commission’s existing authority to investigate and penalize an electrical corporation’s alleged fraudulent activities, or to disallow costs incurred as a result of gross incompetence, fraud, abuse, or similar grounds. Nothing in this section expands, modifies, or limits the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission’s existing authority and responsibilities as set forth in Sections 25216, 25216.5, and 25323 of the Public Resources Code.
(i) An electrical corporation that serves less than 500,000 electric retail customers within the state may file with the commission a request for exemption from this section, which the commission shall grant upon a showing of good cause.
(j) (1) Prior to its approval pursuant to Section 851 of any divestiture of generation assets owned by an electrical corporation on or after the date of enactment of the act adding this section, the commission shall determine the impact of the proposed divestiture on the electrical corporation’s procurement rates and shall approve a divestiture only to the extent it finds, taking into account the effect of the divestiture on procurement rates, that the divestiture is in the public interest and will result in net ratepayer benefits.
(2) Any electrical corporation’s procurement necessitated as a result of the divestiture of generation assets on or after the effective date of the act adding this subdivision shall be subject to the mechanisms and procedures set forth in this section only if its actual cost is less than the recent historical cost of the divested generation assets.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), the commission may deem proposed procurement eligible to use the procedures in this section upon its approval of asset divestiture pursuant to Section 851.
(k) The commission shall direct electrical corporations to include in their proposed procurement plans the integration costs described and determined pursuant to clause (v) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 399.13.