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AB-1573 Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/22/2017 04:00 AM
AB1573:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1573


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 2831 of Sections 2831, 2831.5, 2832, and 2833 of, and to add Section 2831.1 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to energy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1573, as amended, Bloom. Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program.
Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory authority over public utilities, including electrical corporations. Existing law authorizes the commission to fix the rates and charges for every public utility, and requires that those rates and charges be just and reasonable. The Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program requires a participating utility, defined as being an electrical corporation with 100,000 or more customers in California, to file with the commission an application requesting approval of a tariff to implement a program enabling ratepayers to participate in electrical generation facilities that use eligible renewable energy resources, consistent with certain legislative findings and statements of intent. Existing law requires a participating utility to permit its customers to purchase electricity pursuant to the tariff until the utility meets its proportionate share of a statewide limitation of 600 megawatts of customer participation. Existing law reserves specified amounts of the 600 megawatts to certain consumers and categories of consumers. Existing law limits the nameplate rated generating capacity of a generating facility eligible under the program to 20 megawatts or less. Existing law prohibits a customer purchasing electricity under the tariff to subscribe to more than 2 megawatts of nameplate generating capacity. Existing law prohibits any single entity or its affiliates or subsidiaries to subscribe to more than 20% of any single calendar year’s total cumulative rated generating capacity. Existing law requires a participating utility to provide support for an enhanced community renewables program to facilitate the development of eligible renewable energy resource projects located close to the source of demand.

This bill would make a nonsubstantive change in the legislative findings and statements of intent.

This bill would require the program to have a green tariff option and a shared renewable option for customer participation. The bill would eliminate the above limit on the nameplate generating capacity for a generating facility that is eligible under the program. The bill would revise the program to prohibit limiting the amount of capacity of a participating customer subscription to eligible renewable energy resources or limiting the number of eligible renewable resources to which a participating customer may subscribe. The bill would reserve not less than 200 megawatts for participation by customers not classified as residential customers. The bill would authorize the commission to increase the 600-megawatt statewide limitation as it deems appropriate. The bill would revise the definition of “eligible renewable energy resource” to include energy storage systems that are charged solely by eligible renewable energy resources. The bill would require a participating utility, by March 1, 2018, to file an application for modification of its green tariff shared renewables program to implement the modifications to the program made by this measure. The bill would require the commission, by July 1, 2018, to issue a decision on the participating utilities’ applications for modification.
Under existing law, a violation of any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission is a crime.
Because a violation of an order or decision of the commission implementing the above requirements would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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 reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 2831 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

2831.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Building operational generating facilities that utilize sources of renewable energy within California, to supply the state’s demand for electricity, provides significant financial, health, environmental, and workforce benefits to the State of California.
(b) The California Solar Initiative will achieve its goals, resulting in over 150,000 residential and commercial onsite installations of solar energy systems. However, the California Solar Initiative cannot reach all residents and businesses that want to participate and is limited to only solar energy systems and not other eligible renewable energy resources. A green tariff shared renewables program seeks to build on the success of the California Solar Initiative by expanding access to all eligible renewable energy resources to all ratepayers who are currently unable to access the benefits of onsite generation.
(c) There is widespread interest from many large institutional customers, including schools, colleges, universities, local governments, businesses, and the military, for the development of generation facilities that are eligible renewable energy resources to serve more than 33 percent a greater percentage of their energy needs. needs than is required by the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1).
(d) Public institutions will benefit from a green tariff shared renewables program’s enhanced flexibility to participate in shared generation facilities that are eligible renewable energy resources.
(e) Building instate operational generating facilities that are eligible renewable energy resources creates jobs, reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, and promotes energy independence.
(f) Many large energy users in California have pursued onsite electrical generation from eligible renewable energy resources, but cannot achieve their goals due to rooftop or land space limitations, or size limits on net energy metering. The enactment of this chapter will create a mechanism whereby institutional customers, such as military installations, universities, and local governments, as well as commercial customers and groups of individuals, can meet their needs with electrical generation from eligible renewable energy resources.
(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that a green tariff shared renewables program be implemented in a manner that facilitates a large, sustainable market for offsite electrical generation from facilities that are eligible renewable energy resources, while fairly compensating electrical corporations for the services they provide, without affecting nonparticipating ratepayers.
(h) It is the further intent of the Legislature that a green tariff shared renewables program be implemented in a manner that ensures nonparticipating ratepayer indifference for the remaining bundled service, direct access, and community choice aggregation customers.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2831.1 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

2831.1.
 (a) The Legislature further finds and declares all of the following:
(1) On February 2, 2015, the commission issued Decision 15-01-051, Decision Approving the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program for San Diego Gas and Electric Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Southern California Edison Company. That decision establishes the green tariff shared renewables program consisting of a green tariff option, which allows customers to purchase energy with a greater share from renewable resources, and an enhanced community renewables option, which allows customers to purchase renewable energy from community-based projects.
(2) Of the 600 megawatts of statewide of customer participation authorized pursuant to Section 2833, as of January 1, 2017, customer participation in the green tariff shared renewables program amounts to less than 3 percent of the total 600 megawatt capacity and no customer participation is occurring under the enhanced community renewables option.
(3) California should do more to meet the needs of utility customers committed to increasing their renewable energy use, recognizing that some 60 percent of the largest United States businesses have now adopted public sustainability goals endorsing an increase in renewable energy use.
(b) It is further the intent of the Legislature to remove obstacles that have so far hindered expanding access to eligible renewable energy resources through the green tariff shared renewables programs for all California utility customers.

SEC. 3.

 Section 2831.5 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

2831.5.
 (a) This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program.
(b) For purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Eligible renewable energy resource,” “renewable energy credit,” and “renewables portfolio standard” have the same meaning as those terms have for the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1). resource” means either of the following:
(A) An energy resource that is an eligible renewable energy resource under the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1).
(B) An energy storage system, as defined in Section 2835, that is charged solely by an energy source specified in subparagraph (A).
(2) “Participating utility” means an electrical corporation with 100,000 or more customer accounts in California.
(3) “Renewable energy credit,” and “renewables portfolio standard” have the same meaning as those terms have for the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1).

SEC. 4.

 Section 2832 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

2832.
 (a) On or before March 1, 2014, 2018, a participating utility shall file with the commission an application requesting approval of a modification of its green tariff shared renewables program program that was approved by the commission before January 1, 2018, to implement a program that the utility determines is consistent with the legislative findings and statements of intent of Section 2831. Nothing in this chapter limits Sections 2831 and 2831.1. This chapter does not limit an electrical corporation with less than 100,000 customer accounts in California from filing an application with the commission to administer a green tariff shared renewables program that is consistent with the legislative findings and statements of intent of Section 2831. Sections 2831 and 2831.1.
(b) On or before July 1, 2014, 2018, the commission shall issue a decision on the participating utility’s application for a modification pursuant to subdivision (a) of its green tariff shared renewables program, determining whether to approve or disapprove it, with or without further or alternative modifications.
(c) After notice and an opportunity for public comment, the commission shall approve an application by a participating utility for a modification pursuant to subdivision (a) of its green tariff shared renewables program if the commission determines that the modification of the program is reasonable and consistent with the legislative findings and statements of intent of Section 2831. Sections 2831 and 2831.1.
(d) The requirements of this chapter shall not apply to an electrical corporation that, prior to May 1, 2013, filed an application with the commission to have a green tariff shared renewables program, or an equivalent program of whatever name, provided the commission approves the application with a determination that the program does not shift costs to nonparticipating customers and the application is consistent with this chapter. If the commission has approved a settlement agreement relative to parties contesting an application filed prior to May 1, 2013, the requirements of this section shall not apply if the commission, within a reasonable period of time, requires revisions to the previously approved settlement agreement that requires the program to be consistent with this chapter.

SEC. 5.

 Section 2833 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

2833.
 (a) The commission shall require a green tariff shared renewables program to be administered by a participating utility in accordance with this section. The program shall consist of, and the participating utility shall provide support for, two options for customer participation. The two options shall be as follows:
(1) A green tariff option that enables customers of the participating utilities to purchase energy from a utility resource portfolio comprising only eligible renewable energy resources.
(2) A shared renewables option that allows customers of participating utilities to opt-in to participate in projects for the development of eligible renewable energy resources by contracting with the developers of the projects.
(b) Generating facilities participating selected for participation in a participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall be meet all of the following requirements:
(1) They shall be eligible renewable energy resources with a nameplate rated generating capacity not exceeding 20 megawatts, except that are in addition to those required pursuant to the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1).
(2) They shall commit all or part of their output for customer subscriptions under the green tariff shared renewables program.
(3) They shall be sited and operated to serve any number of subscribing customers within the service territory of the Independent System Operator.
(4) They shall not exceed one megawatt nameplate generating capacity for those generating facilities reserved for location in areas identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency as the most impacted and disadvantaged communities pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d), which shall not exceed one megawatt nameplate rated generating capacity. (e).
(c) To provide necessary flexibility for projects developed under the green tariff shared renewables program and to respond efficiently to increasing customer demand for eligible renewable energy resources, the program shall not do any of the following:
(1) Except for the limitation specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b), establish a maximum nameplate generating capacity for eligibility for a generating facility.
(2) Limit a customer subscription to an amount or percentage of the total capacity of a particular project.
(3) Limit the number of projects to which a customer may subscribe.
(4) Require a project to serve a predetermined or prescribed number of customers.

(c)

(d) (1) (A) A participating utility shall use commission-approved tools and mechanisms to procure additional eligible renewable energy resources for the green tariff shared renewables program from electrical generation facilities that are in addition to those required by the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1). For program.
(B) For the shared renewables option, the commission-approved tools and mechanisms shall be adjusted to streamline the selection of projects so that the primary selection criteria are project and developer viability and demonstrated customer interest.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “commission-approved tools and mechanisms” means those procurement methods approved by the commission for an electrical corporation to procure eligible renewable energy resources for purposes of meeting the procurement requirements of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1).

(d)

(e) A participating utility shall permit customers within the service territory of the utility to purchase electricity pursuant to the tariff approved by the commission to implement the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program, until the utility meets its proportionate share of a statewide limitation of 600 megawatts of customer participation, measured by nameplate rated generating capacity. The commission may increase the statewide limitation as it deems appropriate. The proportionate share shall be calculated based on the ratio of each participating utility’s retail sales to total retail sales of electricity by all participating utilities. The commission may place other restrictions on restrict purchases under a green tariff shared renewables program, including restricting participation program to a certain level of capacity each year. The following restrictions shall apply to the statewide 600 megawatt limitation:
(1) (A) One hundred megawatts shall be reserved for facilities that are no larger than one megawatt nameplate rated generating capacity and that are located in areas previously identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency as the most impacted and disadvantaged communities. These communities shall be identified by census tract, and shall be determined to be the most impacted 20 percent based on results from the best available cumulative impact screening methodology designed to identify each of the following:
(i) Areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and other hazards that can lead to negative public health effects, exposure, or environmental degradation.
(ii) Areas with socioeconomic vulnerability.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “previously identified” means identified prior to commencing construction of the facility.
(2) Not less than 100 megawatts shall be reserved for participation by residential class customers.
(3) Twenty megawatts shall be reserved for the City of Davis.
(4) Not less than 200 megawatts shall be reserved for participation by customers not classified as residential customers.

(e)

(f) To the extent possible, a participating utility shall seek to procure eligible renewable energy resources that are located in reasonable proximity to the same service territory of the participating utility as enrolled participants. participants served by the resources.

(f)

(g) A participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall support diverse procurement and the goals of commission General Order 156.

(g)

(h) A participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall not allow a customer to subscribe to more than 100 percent of the customer’s electricity demand.

(h)Except as authorized by this subdivision, a participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall not allow a customer to subscribe to more than two megawatts of nameplate generating capacity. This limitation does not apply to a federal, state, or local government, school or school district, county office of education, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, or the University of California.

(i)A participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall not allow any single entity or its affiliates or subsidiaries to subscribe to more than 20 percent of any single calendar year’s total cumulative rated generating capacity.

(j)

(i) To the extent possible, a participating utility shall actively market the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program to low-income and minority communities and customers.

(k)

(j) Participating customers shall receive bill credits for the generation of a participating eligible renewable energy resource using the class average retail generation cost as established in the participating utility’s approved tariff for the class to which the participating customer belongs, plus a renewables adjustment value representing the difference between the time-of-delivery profile of the eligible renewable energy resource used to serve the participating customer and the class average time-of-delivery profile and the resource adequacy value, if any, of the resource contained in the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program. The renewables adjustment value applicable to a time-of-delivery profile of an eligible renewable energy resource shall be determined according to rules adopted by the commission. For these purposes, “time-of-delivery profile” refers to the daily generating pattern of a participating eligible renewable energy resource over time, the value of which is determined by comparing the generating pattern of that participating eligible renewable energy resource to the demand for electricity over time and other generating resources available to serve that demand.

(l)

(k) Participating customers in the green tariff option shall pay a renewable generation rate established by the commission, commission. Participating customers in the green tariff option or the shared renewables option shall pay the administrative costs of the participating utility, and any other charges the commission determines are just and reasonable to fully cover the cost of procuring or selecting a green tariff shared renewables program’s resources to serve a participating customer’s needs.

(m)

(l) A participating customer’s rates shall be debited or credited with any other commission-approved costs or values applicable to the eligible renewable energy resources contained in a participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program’s portfolio. These additional costs or values shall be applied to new customers when they initially subscribe after the cost or value has been approved by the commission.

(n)

(m) Participating customers shall pay all otherwise applicable charges without modification.

(o)

(n) A participating utility shall permit a participating customer to subscribe to the program and be provided with a nonbinding estimate of reasonably anticipated bill credits and bill charges, as determined by the commission, for a period of up to 20 years.

(p)A participating utility shall provide support for enhanced community renewables programs to facilitate development of eligible renewable energy resource projects located close to the source of demand.

(q)

(o) The commission shall ensure that charges and credits associated with a participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program are set in a manner that ensures nonparticipant ratepayer indifference for the remaining bundled service, direct access, and community choice aggregation customers and ensures that no costs are shifted from participating customers to nonparticipating ratepayers.

(r)

(p) A participating utility shall track and account for all revenues and costs to ensure that the utility recovers the actual costs of the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program and that all costs and revenues are fully transparent and auditable.

(s)

(q) Any renewable energy credits associated with electricity procured by a participating utility for the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program option and utilized by a participating customer shall be retired by the participating utility on behalf of the participating customer. Those renewable energy credits shall not be further sold, transferred, or otherwise monetized for any purpose. Any renewable energy credits associated with electricity procured by that a participating utility for the shared renewable energy self-generation program, but not utilized by a participating customer, shall be counted delivers to a participating customer in the shared renewables option may be utilized, sold, transferred, or otherwise monetized by the participating customer, including, at the customer’s discretion, a sale or transfer to the participating utility to count toward meeting that participating utility’s renewables portfolio standard.

(t)

(r) A participating utility shall, in the event of participant customer attrition or other causes that reduce customer participation or electrical demand below generation levels, apply the excess generation from the eligible renewable energy resources procured through the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program to the utility’s renewable portfolio standard procurement obligations or bank the excess generation for future use to benefit all customers in accordance with the renewables portfolio standard banking and procurement rules approved by the commission.

(u)

(s) In calculating its procurement requirements to meet the requirements of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section 399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1), a participating utility may exclude from total retail sales the kilowatthours generated by an eligible renewable energy resource that is credited to a participating customer pursuant to the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program, commencing with the point in time at which the generating facility achieves commercial operation.

(v)

(t) All renewable energy resources procured on behalf of participating customers in the participating utility’s green tariff shared renewables program shall comply with the State Air Resources Board’s Voluntary Renewable Electricity Program. California-eligible greenhouse gas allowances associated with these purchases shall be retired on behalf of participating customers as part of the board’s Voluntary Renewable Electricity Program.

(w)

(u) A participating utility shall provide a municipality with aggregated consumption data for participating customers within the municipality’s jurisdiction to allow for reporting on progress toward climate action goals by the municipality. A participating utility shall also publicly disclose, on a geographic basis, consumption data and reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases achieved by participating customers in the utility’s green tariff shared renewables program, on an aggregated basis consistent with privacy protections as specified in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 8380) of Division 4.1.

(x)

(v) This section does not prohibit or restrict a community choice aggregator from offering its own voluntary renewable energy programs to participating customers of the community choice aggregation.

SEC. 6.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only 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.