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AB-645 Electricity: California Renewables Portfolio Standard.(2015-2016)

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AB645:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 645


Introduced by Assembly Members Williams and Rendon

February 24, 2015


An act to amend Sections 399.11, 399.15, and 399.30 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to electricity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 645, as introduced, Williams. Electricity: California Renewables Portfolio Standard.
(1) Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) 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 boards.
Existing law establishes the California Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) program, which expresses the intent of the Legislature that the amount of electricity generated per year from eligible renewable energy resources be increased to an amount that equals at least 33% of the total electricity sold to retail customers in California per year by December 31, 2020. Existing law requires the PUC, by January 1, 2012, to establish the quantity of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources to be procured by each retail seller for specified compliance periods, sufficient to ensure that the procurement of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources achieves 25% of retail sales by December 31, 2016, and 33% of retail sales by December 31, 2020, and that retail sellers procure not less than 33% of retail sales in all subsequent years.
Existing law makes the requirements of the RPS program applicable to local publicly owned electric utilities, except that the utility’s governing board is responsible for implementation of those requirements, instead of the PUC, and certain enforcement authority with respect to local publicly owned electric utilities is given to the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission and State Air Resources Board, instead of the PUC.
This bill would additionally express the intent of the Legislature for the purposes of the RPS program that the amount of electricity generated per year from eligible renewable energy resources be increased to an amount equal to at least 50% by December 31, 2030, and would require the PUC, by January 1, 2017, to establish the quantity of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources to be procured by each retail seller for specified compliance periods sufficient to ensure that the procurement of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources achieves 50% of retail sales by December 31, 2030, and that retail sellers procure not less than 50% of retail sales in all subsequent years. The bill would require the governing boards of local publicly owned electric utilities to ensure that specified quantities of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources to be procured for specified compliance periods to ensure that the procurement of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources achieve 50% of retail sales by December 31, 2030, and that the local publicly owned electric utilities procure not less than 50% of retail sales in all subsequent years.
(2) Under existing law, a violation of the RPS program is a crime.
Because the provisions of this bill would expand the RPS program, a violation of these provisions would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the definition of a crime.
(3) By placing additional requirements upon local publicly owned electric utilities, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(4) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reasons.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 399.11 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

399.11.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In order to attain a target of generating 20 percent of total retail sales of electricity in California from eligible renewable energy resources by December 31, 2013, and 33 percent by December 31, 2020, and 50 percent by December 31, 2030, it is the intent of the Legislature that the commission and the Energy Commission implement the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program described in this article.
(b) Achieving the renewables portfolio standard through the procurement of various electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources is intended to provide unique benefits to California, including all of the following, each of which independently justifies the program:
(1) Displacing fossil fuel consumption within the state.
(2) Adding new electrical generating facilities in the transmission network within the Western Electricity Coordinating Council service area.
(3) Reducing air pollution in the state.
(4) Meeting the state’s climate change goals by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases associated with electrical generation.
(5) Promoting stable retail rates for electric service.
(6) Meeting the state’s need for a diversified and balanced energy generation portfolio.
(7) Assistance with meeting the state’s resource adequacy requirements.
(8) Contributing to the safe and reliable operation of the electrical grid, including providing predictable electrical supply, voltage support, lower line losses, and congestion relief.
(9) Implementing the state’s transmission and land use planning activities related to development of eligible renewable energy resources.
(c) The California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program is intended to complement the Renewable Energy Resources Program administered by the Energy Commission and established pursuant to Chapter 8.6 (commencing with Section 25740) of Division 15 of the Public Resources Code.
(d) New and modified electric transmission facilities may be necessary to facilitate the state achieving its renewables portfolio standard targets.
(e) (1) Supplying electricity to California end-use customers that is generated by eligible renewable energy resources is necessary to improve California’s air quality and public health, and the commission shall ensure rates are just and reasonable, and are not significantly affected by the procurement requirements of this article. This electricity may be generated anywhere in the interconnected grid that includes many states, and areas of both Canada and Mexico.
(2) This article requires generating resources located outside of California that are able to supply that electricity to California end-use customers to be treated identically to generating resources located within the state, without discrimination.
(3) California electrical corporations have already executed, and the commission has approved, power purchase agreements with eligible renewable energy resources located outside of California that will supply electricity to California end-use customers. These resources will fully count toward meeting the renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements. In addition, there are nearly 7,000 megawatts of additional proposed renewable energy resources located outside of California that are awaiting interconnection approval from the Independent System Operator. All of these resources, if procured, will count as eligible renewable energy resources that satisfy the portfolio content requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 399.16.

SEC. 2.

 Section 399.15 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

399.15.
 (a) In order to fulfill unmet long-term resource needs, the commission shall establish a renewables portfolio standard requiring all retail sellers to procure a minimum quantity of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources as a specified percentage of total kilowatthours sold to their retail end-use customers each compliance period to achieve the targets established under this article. For any retail seller procuring at least 14 percent of retail sales from eligible renewable energy resources in 2010, the deficits associated with any previous renewables portfolio standard shall not be added to any procurement requirement pursuant to this article.
(b) The commission shall implement renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements only as follows:
(1) Each retail seller shall procure a minimum quantity of eligible renewable energy resources for each of the following compliance periods:
(A) January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2013, inclusive.
(B) January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2016, inclusive.
(C) January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2020, inclusive.
(D) January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2023, inclusive.
(E) January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2026, inclusive.
(D) January 1, 2027, to December 31, 2030, inclusive.
(2) (A) No later than January 1, 2012, 2017, the commission shall establish the quantity of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources to be procured by the retail seller for each compliance period. These quantities shall be established in the same manner for all retail sellers and result in the same percentages used to establish compliance period quantities for all retail sellers.
(B) In establishing quantities for the compliance period from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2013, inclusive, the commission shall require procurement for each retail seller equal to an average of 20 percent of retail sales. For the following compliance periods, the quantities shall reflect reasonable progress in each of the intervening years sufficient to ensure that the procurement of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources achieves 25 percent of retail sales by December 31, 2016, and 33 percent of retail sales by December 31, 2020. 2020, 38 percent by December 31, 2023, 44 percent by December 31, 2026, and 50 percent by December 31, 2030. The commission shall require retail sellers to procure not less than 33 50 percent of retail sales of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources in all subsequent years.
(C) Retail sellers shall be obligated to procure no less than the quantities associated with all intervening years by the end of each compliance period. Retail sellers shall not be required to demonstrate a specific quantity of procurement for any individual intervening year.
(3) The commission may require the procurement of eligible renewable energy resources in excess of the quantities specified in paragraph (2).
(4) Only for purposes of establishing the renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements of paragraph (1) and determining the quantities pursuant to paragraph (2), the commission shall include all electricity sold to retail customers by the Department of Water Resources pursuant to Division 27 (commencing with Section 80000) of the Water Code in the calculation of retail sales by an electrical corporation.
(5) The commission shall waive enforcement of this section if it finds that the retail seller has demonstrated any of the following conditions are beyond the control of the retail seller and will prevent compliance:
(A) There is inadequate transmission capacity to allow for sufficient electricity to be delivered from proposed eligible renewable energy resource projects using the current operational protocols of the Independent System Operator. In making its findings relative to the existence of this condition with respect to a retail seller that owns transmission lines, the commission shall consider both of the following:
(i) Whether the retail seller has undertaken, in a timely fashion, reasonable measures under its control and consistent with its obligations under local, state, and federal laws and regulations, to develop and construct new transmission lines or upgrades to existing lines intended to transmit electricity generated by eligible renewable energy resources. In determining the reasonableness of a retail seller’s actions, the commission shall consider the retail seller’s expectations for full-cost recovery for these transmission lines and upgrades.
(ii) Whether the retail seller has taken all reasonable operational measures to maximize cost-effective deliveries of electricity from eligible renewable energy resources in advance of transmission availability.
(B) Permitting, interconnection, or other circumstances that delay procured eligible renewable energy resource projects, or there is an insufficient supply of eligible renewable energy resources available to the retail seller. In making a finding that this condition prevents timely compliance, the commission shall consider whether the retail seller has done all of the following:
(i) Prudently managed portfolio risks, including relying on a sufficient number of viable projects.
(ii) Sought to develop one of the following: its own eligible renewable energy resources, transmission to interconnect to eligible renewable energy resources, or energy storage used to integrate eligible renewable energy resources. This clause shall not require an electrical corporation to pursue development of eligible renewable energy resources pursuant to Section 399.14.
(iii) Procured an appropriate minimum margin of procurement above the minimum procurement level necessary to comply with the renewables portfolio standard to compensate for foreseeable delays or insufficient supply.
(iv) Taken reasonable measures, under the control of the retail seller, to procure cost-effective distributed generation and allowable unbundled renewable energy credits.
(C) Unanticipated curtailment of eligible renewable energy resources necessary to address the needs of a balancing authority.
(6) If the commission waives the compliance requirements of this section, the commission shall establish additional reporting requirements on the retail seller to demonstrate that all reasonable actions under the control of the retail seller are taken in each of the intervening years sufficient to satisfy future procurement requirements.
(7) The commission shall not waive enforcement pursuant to this section, unless the retail seller demonstrates that it has taken all reasonable actions under its control, as set forth in paragraph (5), to achieve full compliance.
(8) If a retail seller fails to procure sufficient eligible renewable energy resources to comply with a procurement requirement pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) and fails to obtain an order from the commission waiving enforcement pursuant to paragraph (5), the commission shall exercise its authority pursuant to Section 2113.
(9) Deficits associated with the compliance period shall not be added to a future compliance period.
(c) The commission shall establish a limitation for each electrical corporation on the procurement expenditures for all eligible renewable energy resources used to comply with the renewables portfolio standard. In establishing this limitation, the commission shall rely on the following:
(1) The most recent renewable energy procurement plan.
(2) Procurement expenditures that approximate the expected cost of building, owning, and operating eligible renewable energy resources.
(3) The potential that some planned resource additions may be delayed or canceled.
(d) In developing the limitation pursuant to subdivision (c), the commission shall ensure all of the following:
(1) The limitation is set at a level that prevents disproportionate rate impacts.
(2) The costs of all procurement credited toward achieving the renewables portfolio standard are counted towards the limitation.
(3) Procurement expenditures do not include any indirect expenses, including imbalance energy charges, sale of excess energy, decreased generation from existing resources, transmission upgrades, or the costs associated with relicensing any utility-owned hydroelectric facilities.
(e) (1) No later than January 1, 2016, the commission shall prepare a report to the Legislature assessing whether each electrical corporation can achieve a 33-percent renewables portfolio standard by December 31, 2020, and maintain that level thereafter, within the adopted cost limitations. If the commission determines that it is necessary to change the limitation for procurement costs incurred by any electrical corporation after that date, it may propose a revised cap consistent with the criteria in subdivisions (c) and (d). The proposed modifications shall take effect no earlier than January 1, 2017.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the requirement for submitting a report imposed under paragraph (1) is inoperative on January 1, 2021.
(3) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(f) If the cost limitation for an electrical corporation is insufficient to support the projected costs of meeting the renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements, the electrical corporation may refrain from entering into new contracts or constructing facilities beyond the quantity that can be procured within the limitation, unless eligible renewable energy resources can be procured without exceeding a de minimis increase in rates, consistent with the long-term procurement plan established for the electrical corporation pursuant to Section 454.5.
(g) (1) The commission shall monitor the status of the cost limitation for each electrical corporation in order to ensure compliance with this article.
(2) If the commission determines that an electrical corporation may exceed its cost limitation prior to achieving the renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements, the commission shall do both of the following within 60 days of making that determination:
(A) Investigate and identify the reasons why the electrical corporation may exceed its annual cost limitation.
(B) Notify the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature that the electrical corporation may exceed its cost limitation, and include the reasons why the electrical corporation may exceed its cost limitation.
(h) The establishment of a renewables portfolio standard shall not constitute implementation by the commission of the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-617).

SEC. 3.

 Section 399.30 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

399.30.
 (a) To fulfill unmet long-term generation resource needs, each local publicly owned electric utility shall adopt and implement a renewable energy resources procurement plan that requires the utility to procure a minimum quantity of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources, including renewable energy credits, as a specified percentage of total kilowatthours sold to the utility’s retail end-use customers, each compliance period, to achieve the targets of subdivision (c).
(b) The governing board shall implement procurement targets for a local publicly owned electric utility that require the utility to procure a minimum quantity of eligible renewable energy resources for each of the following compliance periods:
(1) January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2013, inclusive.
(2) January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2016, inclusive.
(3) January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2020, inclusive.
(D) January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2023, inclusive.
(E) January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2026, inclusive.
(D) January 1, 2027, to December 31, 2030, inclusive.
(c) The governing board of a local publicly owned electric utility shall ensure all of the following:
(1) The quantities of eligible renewable energy resources to be procured for the compliance period from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2013, inclusive, are equal to an average of 20 percent of retail sales.
(2) The quantities of eligible renewable energy resources to be procured for all other compliance periods reflect reasonable progress in each of the intervening years sufficient to ensure that the procurement of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources achieves 25 percent of retail sales by December 31, 2016, and 33 percent of retail sales by December 31, 2020. 2020, 38 percent by December 31, 2023, 44 percent by December 31, 2026, and 50 percent by December 31, 2030. The local governing board shall require the local publicly owned electric utilities utility to procure not less than 33 50 percent of retail sales of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources in all subsequent years.
(3) A local publicly owned electric utility shall adopt procurement requirements consistent with Section 399.16.
(d) The governing board of a local publicly owned electric utility may adopt the following measures:
(1) Rules permitting the utility to apply excess procurement in one compliance period to subsequent compliance periods in the same manner as allowed for retail sellers pursuant to Section 399.13.
(2) Conditions that allow for delaying timely compliance consistent with subdivision (b) of Section 399.15.
(3) Cost limitations for procurement expenditures consistent with subdivision (c) of Section 399.15.
(e) The governing board of the local publicly owned electric utility shall adopt a program for the enforcement of this article on or before January 1, 2012. The program shall be adopted at a publicly noticed meeting offering all interested parties an opportunity to comment. Not less than 30 days’ notice shall be given to the public of any meeting held for purposes of adopting the program. Not less than 10 days’ notice shall be given to the public before any meeting is held to make a substantive change to the program.
(f) (1) Each local publicly owned electric utility shall annually post notice, in accordance with Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code, whenever its governing body will deliberate in public on its renewable energy resources procurement plan.
(2) Contemporaneous with the posting of the notice of a public meeting to consider the renewable energy resources procurement plan, the local publicly owned electric utility shall notify the Energy Commission of the date, time, and location of the meeting in order to enable the Energy Commission to post the information on its Internet Web site. This requirement is satisfied if the local publicly owned electric utility provides the uniform resource locator (URL) that links to this information.
(3) Upon distribution to its governing body of information related to its renewable energy resources procurement status and future plans, for its consideration at a noticed public meeting, the local publicly owned electric utility shall make that information available to the public and shall provide the Energy Commission with an electronic copy of the documents for posting on the Energy Commission’s Internet Web site. This requirement is satisfied if the local publicly owned electric utility provides the uniform resource locator (URL) that links to the documents or information regarding other manners of access to the documents.
(g) A public utility district that receives all of its electricity pursuant to a preference right adopted and authorized by the United States Congress pursuant to Section 4 of the Trinity River Division Act of August 12, 1955 (Public Law 84-386) shall be in compliance with the renewable energy procurement requirements of this article.
(h) For a local publicly owned electric utility that was in existence on or before January 1, 2009, that provides retail electric service to 15,000 or fewer customer accounts in California, and is interconnected to a balancing authority located outside this state but within the WECC, an eligible renewable energy resource includes a facility that is located outside California that is connected to the WECC transmission system, if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The electricity generated by the facility is procured by the local publicly owned electric utility, is delivered to the balancing authority area in which the local publicly owned electric utility is located, and is not used to fulfill renewable energy procurement requirements of other states.
(2) The local publicly owned electric utility participates in, and complies with, the accounting system administered by the Energy Commission pursuant to this article.
(3) The Energy Commission verifies that the electricity generated by the facility is eligible to meet the renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements.
(i) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), for a local publicly owned electric utility that is a joint powers authority of districts established pursuant to state law on or before January 1, 2005, that furnish electric services other than to residential customers, and is formed pursuant to the Irrigation District Law (Division 11 (commencing with Section 20500) of the Water Code), the percentage of total kilowatthours sold to the district’s retail end-use customers, upon which the renewables portfolio standard procurement requirements in subdivision (b) are calculated, shall be based on the authority’s average retail sales over the previous seven years. If the authority has not furnished electric service for seven years, then the calculation shall be based on average retail sales over the number of completed years during which the authority has provided electric service.
(j) A local publicly owned electric utility in a city and county that only receives greater than 67 percent of its electricity sources from hydroelectric generation located within the state that it owns and operates, and that does not meet the definition of a “renewable electrical generation facility” pursuant to Section 25741 of the Public Resources Code, shall be required to procure eligible renewable energy resources, including renewable energy credits, to meet only the electricity demands unsatisfied by its hydroelectric generation in any given year, in order to satisfy its renewable energy procurement requirements.
(k) (1) A local publicly owned electric utility that receives greater than 50 percent of its annual retail sales from its own hydroelectric generation that is not an eligible renewable energy resource shall not be required to procure additional eligible renewable energy resources in excess of either of the following:
(A) The portion of its retail sales not supplied by its own hydroelectric generation. For these purposes, retail sales supplied by an increase in hydroelectric generation resulting from an increase in the amount of water stored by a dam because the dam is enlarged or otherwise modified after December 31, 2012, shall not count as being retail sales supplied by the utility’s own hydroelectric generation.
(B) The cost limitation adopted pursuant to this section.
(2) For the purposes of this subdivision, “hydroelectric generation” means electricity generated from a hydroelectric facility that satisfies all of the following:
(A) Is owned solely and operated by the local publicly owned electric utility as of 1967.
(B) Serves a local publicly owned electric utility with a distribution system demand of less than 150 megawatts.
(C) Involves a contract in which an electrical corporation receives the benefit of the electric generation through June of 2014, at which time the benefit reverts back to the ownership and control of the local publicly owned electric utility.
(D) Has a maximum penstock flow capacity of no more than 3,200 cubic feet per second and includes a regulating reservoir with a small hydroelectric generation facility producing fewer than 20 megawatts with a maximum penstock flow capacity of no more than 3,000 cubic feet per second.
(3) This subdivision does not reduce or eliminate any renewable procurement requirement for any compliance period ending prior to January 1, 2014.
(4) This subdivision does not require a local publicly owned electric utility to purchase additional eligible renewable energy resources in excess of the procurement requirements of subdivision (c).
(l) A local publicly owned electric utility shall retain discretion over both of the following:
(1) The mix of eligible renewable energy resources procured by the utility and those additional generation resources procured by the utility for purposes of ensuring resource adequacy and reliability.
(2) The reasonable costs incurred by the utility for eligible renewable energy resources owned by the utility.
(m) On or before July 1, 2011, the Energy Commission shall adopt regulations specifying procedures for enforcement of this article. The regulations shall include a public process under which the Energy Commission may issue a notice of violation and correction against a local publicly owned electric utility for failure to comply with this article, and for referral of violations to the State Air Resources Board for penalties pursuant to subdivision (o).
(n) (1) Upon a determination by the Energy Commission that a local publicly owned electric utility has failed to comply with this article, the Energy Commission shall refer the failure to comply with this article to the State Air Resources Board, which may impose penalties to enforce this article consistent with Part 6 (commencing with Section 38580) of Division 25.5 of the Health and Safety Code. Any penalties imposed shall be comparable to those adopted by the commission for noncompliance by retail sellers.
(2) If Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code is suspended or repealed, the State Air Resources Board may take action to enforce this article on local publicly owned electric utilities consistent with Section 41513 of the Health and Safety Code, and impose penalties on a local publicly owned electric utility consistent with Article 3 (commencing with Section 42400) of Chapter 4 of Part 4 of, and Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 43025) of Part 5 of, Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) For the purpose of this subdivision, this section is an emissions reduction measure pursuant to Section 38580 of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) If the State Air Resources Board has imposed a penalty upon a local publicly owned electric utility for the utility’s failure to comply with this article, the State Air Resources Board shall not impose an additional penalty for the same infraction, or the same failure to comply, with any renewables procurement requirement imposed upon the utility pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5 (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code).
(5) Any penalties collected by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to this article shall be deposited in the Air Pollution Control Fund and, upon appropriation by the Legislature, shall be expended for reducing emissions of air pollution or greenhouse gases within the same geographic area as the local publicly owned electric utility.
(o) The commission has no authority or jurisdiction to enforce any of the requirements of this article on a local publicly owned electric utility.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act or because costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.