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SB-1453 Electrical generation: greenhouse gases emission performance standard.(2015-2016)

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SB1453:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 1453


Introduced by Senator De León
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Williams)

February 19, 2016


An act to amend Section 8341 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1453, as introduced, De León. Electrical generation: greenhouse gases emission performance standard.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations, while local publicly owned electric utilities are under the direction of their governing boards. Existing law authorizes the PUC to fix the rates and charges for every public utility, and requires that those rates and charges be just and reasonable. Existing law prohibits any load-serving entity, consisting of electrical corporations, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators serving end-use customers in the state, and any local publicly owned electric utility, from entering into a long-term financial commitment, as defined, for baseload generation, as defined, unless that baseload generation complies with a greenhouse gases emission performance standard. Existing law requires the PUC, through a rulemaking proceeding and in consultation with the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission) and the State Air Resources Board (state board), to establish the greenhouse gases emission performance standard for all baseload generation of load-serving entities. Existing law requires the Energy Commission, at a duly noticed public hearing and in consultation with the PUC and the state board, to establish the greenhouse gases emission performance standard for all baseload generation of local publicly owned electric utilities.
This bill would require the PUC to review any capital expenditure proposed by an electrical corporation for baseload generation that does not comply with the greenhouse gases emission performance standard established by the PUC and to not permit those costs to be recovered in rates if it finds (1) the proposed capital expenditure will materially extend the service life of the baseload generation, (2) cost-effective alternative resources not already owned or contracted for by the electrical corporation would provide superior long-term value to customers and satisfy the greenhouses gases emission performance standard, or (3) the accelerated retirement of the baseload generation unit would promote state and regional goals for the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases.
Under existing law, an electrical corporation that provides electric service to 75,000 or fewer retail end-use customers in California may file with the PUC a proposal for alternative compliance with the greenhouse gases emission performance standard, which the PUC is authorized to accept upon a showing by the electrical corporation that (1) a majority of the electrical corporation’s retail end-use customers for electric service are located outside of California and (2) the emissions of greenhouse gases to generate electricity for the retail end-use customers of the electrical corporation are subject to a review by the utility regulatory commission of at least one other state in which the electrical corporation provides regulated retail electric service.
This bill would eliminate this alternative compliance option.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 8341 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

8341.
 (a) No load-serving entity or local publicly owned electric utility may enter into a long-term financial commitment unless any baseload generation supplied under the long-term financial commitment complies with the greenhouse gases emission performance standard established by the commission, pursuant to subdivision (d), for a load-serving entity, or by the Energy Commission, pursuant to subdivision (e), for a local publicly owned electric utility.
(b) (1) The commission shall not approve a long-term financial commitment by an electrical corporation unless any baseload generation supplied under the long-term financial commitment complies with the greenhouse gases emission performance standard established by the commission pursuant to subdivision (d).
(2) The commission shall review any capital expenditure proposed by an electrical corporation for baseload generation that does not comply with the greenhouse gases emission performance standard established by the commission pursuant to subdivision (d). The commission shall not permit those costs to be recovered in rates if it finds any of the following to be true:
(A) The proposed capital expenditure will materially extend the service life of the baseload generation.
(B) Cost-effective alternative resources not already owned or contracted for by the electrical corporation would provide superior long-term value to customers and satisfy the greenhouse gases emission performance standard.
(C) The accelerated retirement of the baseload generation unit would promote state and regional goals for the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases.

(2)

(3) The commission may, in order to enforce this section, review any long-term financial commitment proposed to be entered into by an electric service provider or a community choice aggregator.

(3)

(4) The commission shall adopt rules to enforce the requirements of this section, for load-serving entities. The commission shall adopt procedures, for all load-serving entities, to verify the emissions of greenhouse gases from any baseload generation supplied under a contract subject to the greenhouse gases emission performance standard to ensure compliance with the standard.

(4)

(5) In determining whether a long-term financial commitment is for baseload generation, the commission shall consider the design of the powerplant and the intended use of the powerplant, as determined by the commission based upon the electricity purchase contract, any certification received from the Energy Commission, any other permit or certificate necessary for the operation of the powerplant, including a certificate of public convenience and necessity, any procurement approval decision for the load-serving entity, and any other matter the commission determines is relevant under the circumstances.

(5)

(6) Costs incurred by an electrical corporation to comply with this section, including those costs incurred for electricity purchase agreements that are approved by the commission that comply with the greenhouse gases emission performance standard, are to be treated as procurement costs incurred pursuant to an approved procurement plan and the commission shall ensure timely cost recovery of those costs pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (d) of Section 454.5.

(6)

(7) A long-term financial commitment entered into through a contract approved by the commission, for electricity generated by a zero- or low-carbon generating resource that is contracted for, on behalf of consumers of this state on a cost-of-service basis, shall be recoverable in rates, in a manner determined by the commission consistent with Section 380. The commission may, after a hearing, approve an increase from one-half to 1 percent in the return on investment by the third party entering into the contract with an electrical corporation with respect to investment in zero- or low-carbon generation resources authorized pursuant to this subdivision.
(c) (1) The Energy Commission shall adopt regulations for the enforcement of this chapter with respect to a local publicly owned electric utility.
(2) The Energy Commission may, in order to ensure compliance with the greenhouse gases emission performance standard by local publicly owned electric utilities, apply the procedures adopted by the commission to verify the emissions of greenhouse gases from baseload generation pursuant to subdivision (b).
(3) In determining whether a long-term financial commitment is for baseload generation, the Energy Commission shall consider the design of the powerplant and the intended use of the powerplant, as determined by the Energy Commission based upon the electricity purchase contract, any certification received from the Energy Commission, any other permit for the operation of the powerplant, any procurement approval decision for the load-serving entity, and any other matter the Energy Commission determines is relevant under the circumstances.
(d) (1) On or before February 1, 2007, the commission, through a rulemaking proceeding, and in consultation with the Energy Commission and the State Air Resources Board, shall establish a greenhouse gases emission performance standard for all baseload generation of load-serving entities, at a rate of emissions of greenhouse gases that is no higher than the rate of emissions of greenhouse gases for combined-cycle natural gas baseload generation. Enforcement of the greenhouse gases emission performance standard shall begin immediately upon the establishment of the standard. All combined-cycle natural gas powerplants that are in operation, or that have an Energy Commission final permit decision to operate as of June 30, 2007, shall be deemed to be in compliance with the greenhouse gases emission performance standard.
(2) In determining the rate of emissions of greenhouse gases for baseload generation, the commission shall include the net emissions resulting from the production of electricity by the baseload generation.
(3) The commission shall establish an output-based methodology to ensure that the calculation of emissions of greenhouse gases for cogeneration recognizes the total usable energy output of the process, and includes all greenhouse gases emitted by the facility in the production of both electrical and thermal energy.
(4) In calculating the emissions of greenhouse gases by facilities generating electricity from biomass, biogas, or landfill gas energy, the commission shall consider net emissions from the process of growing, processing, and generating the electricity from the fuel source.
(5) Carbon dioxide that is injected in geological formations, so as to prevent releases into the atmosphere, in compliance with applicable laws and regulations shall not be counted as emissions of the powerplant in determining compliance with the greenhouse gases emissions performance standard.
(6) In adopting and implementing the greenhouse gases emission performance standard, the commission, in consultation with the Independent System Operator shall consider the effects of the standard on system reliability and overall costs to electricity customers.
(7) In developing and implementing the greenhouse gases emission performance standard, the commission shall address long-term purchases of electricity from unspecified sources in a manner consistent with this chapter.
(8) In developing and implementing the greenhouse gases emission performance standard, the commission shall consider and act in a manner consistent with any rules adopted pursuant to Section 824a-3 of Title 16 of the United States Code.

(9)An electrical corporation that provides electric service to 75,000 or fewer retail end-use customers in California may file with the commission a proposal for alternative compliance with this section, which the commission may accept upon a showing by the electrical corporation of both of the following:

(A)A majority of the electrical corporation’s retail end-use customers for electric service are located outside of California.

(B)The emissions of greenhouse gases to generate electricity for the retail end-use customers of the electrical corporation are subject to a review by the utility regulatory commission of at least one other state in which the electrical corporation provides regulated retail electric service.

(e) (1) On or before June 30, 2007, the Energy Commission, at a duly noticed public hearing and in consultation with the commission and the State Air Resources Board, shall establish a greenhouse gases emission performance standard for all baseload generation of local publicly owned electric utilities at a rate of emissions of greenhouse gases that is no higher than the rate of emissions of greenhouse gases for combined-cycle natural gas baseload generation. The greenhouse gases emission performance standard established by the Energy Commission for local publicly owned electric utilities shall be consistent with the standard adopted by the commission for load-serving entities. Enforcement of the greenhouse gases emission performance standard shall begin immediately upon the establishment of the standard. All combined-cycle natural gas powerplants that are in operation, or that have an Energy Commission final permit decision to operate as of June 30, 2007, shall be deemed to be in compliance with the greenhouse gases emission performance standard.
(2) The greenhouse gases emission performance standard shall be adopted by regulation pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(3) In determining the rate of emissions of greenhouse gases for baseload generation, the Energy Commission shall include the net emissions resulting from the production of electricity by the baseload generation.
(4) The Energy Commission shall establish an output-based methodology to ensure that the calculation of emissions of greenhouse gases for cogeneration recognizes the total usable energy output of the process, and includes all greenhouse gases emitted by the facility in the production of both electrical and thermal energy.
(5) In calculating the emissions of greenhouse gases by facilities generating electricity from biomass, biogas, or landfill gas energy, the Energy Commission shall consider net emissions from the process of growing, processing, and generating the electricity from the fuel source.
(6) Carbon dioxide that is captured from the emissions of a powerplant and that is permanently disposed of in geological formations in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, shall not be counted as emissions from the powerplant.
(7) In adopting and implementing the greenhouse gases emission performance standard, the Energy Commission, in consultation with the Independent System Operator, shall consider the effects of the standard on system reliability and overall costs to electricity customers.
(8) In developing and implementing the greenhouse gases emission performance standard, the Energy Commission shall address long-term purchases of electricity from unspecified sources in a manner consistent with this chapter.
(9) In developing and implementing the greenhouse gases emission performance standard, the Energy Commission shall consider and act in a manner consistent with any rules adopted pursuant to Section 824a-3 of Title 16 of the United States Code.
(f) The Energy Commission, in a duly noticed public hearing and in consultation with the commission and the State Air Resources Board, shall reevaluate and continue, modify, or replace the greenhouse gases emission performance standard when an enforceable greenhouse gases emissions limit is established and in operation, that is applicable to local publicly owned electric utilities.
(g) The commission, through a rulemaking proceeding and in consultation with the Energy Commission and the State Air Resources Board, shall reevaluate and continue, modify, or replace the greenhouse gases emission performance standard when an enforceable greenhouse gases emissions limit is established and in operation, that is applicable to load-serving entities.