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AB-762 Renewable energy resources: hydroelectric generation.(2013-2014)



Current Version: 02/21/13 - Introduced         Compare Versions information image


AB762:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 762


Introduced by Assembly Member Patterson

February 21, 2013


An act to amend Section 399.12 of, and to repeal Section 399.12.5 of, the Public Utility Code, relating to energy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 762, as introduced, Patterson. Renewable energy resources: hydroelectric generation.
Existing law establishes the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program, which requires the Public Utilities Commission to implement annual procurement targets for the procurement of eligible renewable energy resources, as defined, for all retail sellers, as defined, to achieve the targets and goals of the program. The existing definition of an eligible renewable energy resource includes small hydroelectric generation facilities of 30 megawatts or less that meet specified criteria.
This bill would revise the definition of an eligible renewable energy resource for the purposes of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program to include a hydroelectric generation facility of any size if it meets certain requirements. The bill would also make conforming changes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

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

399.12.
 For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Conduit hydroelectric facility” means a facility for the generation of electricity that uses only the hydroelectric potential of an existing pipe, ditch, flume, siphon, tunnel, canal, or other manmade conduit that is operated to distribute water for a beneficial use.
(b) “Balancing authority” means the responsible entity that integrates resource plans ahead of time, maintains load-interchange generation balance within a balancing authority area, and supports interconnection frequency in real time.
(c) “Balancing authority area” means the collection of generation, transmission, and loads within the metered boundaries of the area within which the balancing authority maintains the electrical load-resource balance.
(d) “California balancing authority” is a balancing authority with control over a balancing authority area primarily located in this state and operating for retail sellers and local publicly owned electric utilities subject to the requirements of this article and includes the Independent System Operator (ISO) and a local publicly owned electric utility operating a transmission grid that is not under the operational control of the ISO. A California balancing authority is responsible for the operation of the transmission grid within its metered boundaries which may not be limited by the political boundaries of the State of California.
(e) (1) “Eligible renewable energy resource” means an either of the following:
(A) An electrical generating facility that meets the definition of a “renewable electrical generation facility” in Section 25741 of the Public Resources Code, subject to the following:

(1)(A)

(i) An existing small hydroelectric generation facility of 30 megawatts or less shall be eligible only if a retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility procured the electricity from the facility as of December 31, 2005. A small hydroelectric generation unit with a nameplate capacity not exceeding 40 megawatts that is operated as part of a water supply or conveyance system is an eligible renewable energy resource if the retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility procured the electricity from the facility as of December 31, 2005. A new hydroelectric facility that commences generation of electricity after December 31, 2005, is not an eligible renewable energy resource if it will cause an adverse impact on instream beneficial uses or cause a change in the volume or timing of streamflow.

(B)

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

(C)

(iii) A facility approved by the governing board of a local publicly owned electric utility prior to June 1, 2010, for procurement to satisfy renewable energy procurement obligations adopted pursuant to former Section 387, shall be certified as an eligible renewable energy resource by the Energy Commission pursuant to this article, if the facility is a “renewable electrical generation facility” as defined in Section 25741 of the Public Resources Code.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a hydroelectric generation facility of any size is an eligible renewable energy resource if the facility satisfies the requirements in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 25741 of the Public Resources Code.
(2) A facility engaged in the combustion of municipal solid waste shall not be considered an eligible renewable energy resource unless it is located in Stanislaus County and was operational prior to September 26, 1996.
(f) “Procure” means to acquire through ownership or contract.
(g) “Procurement entity” means any person or corporation authorized by the commission to enter into contracts to procure eligible renewable energy resources on behalf of customers of a retail seller pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 399.13.
(h) (1) “Renewable energy credit” means a certificate of proof associated with the generation of electricity from an eligible renewable energy resource, issued through the accounting system established by the Energy Commission pursuant to Section 399.25, that one unit of electricity was generated and delivered by an eligible renewable energy resource.
(2) “Renewable energy credit” includes all renewable and environmental attributes associated with the production of electricity from the eligible renewable energy resource, except for an emissions reduction credit issued pursuant to Section 40709 of the Health and Safety Code and any credits or payments associated with the reduction of solid waste and treatment benefits created by the utilization of biomass or biogas fuels.
(3) (A) Electricity generated by an eligible renewable energy resource attributable to the use of nonrenewable fuels, beyond a de minimis quantity used to generate electricity in the same process through which the facility converts renewable fuel to electricity, shall not result in the creation of a renewable energy credit. The Energy Commission shall set the de minimis quantity of nonrenewable fuels for each renewable energy technology at a level of no more than 2 percent of the total quantity of fuel used by the technology to generate electricity. The Energy Commission may adjust the de minimis quantity for an individual facility, up to a maximum of 5 percent, if it finds that all of the following conditions are met:
(i) The facility demonstrates that the higher quantity of nonrenewable fuel will lead to an increase in generation from the eligible renewable energy facility that is significantly greater than generation from the nonrenewable fuel alone.
(ii) The facility demonstrates that the higher quantity of nonrenewable fuels will reduce the variability of its electrical output in a manner that results in net environmental benefits to the state.
(iii) The higher quantity of nonrenewable fuel is limited to either natural gas or hydrogen derived by reformation of a fossil fuel.
(B) Electricity generated by a small hydroelectric generation facility shall not result in the creation of a renewable energy credit unless the facility meets the requirements of clause (i) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e).
(C) Electricity generated by a conduit hydroelectric generation facility shall not result in the creation of a renewable energy credit unless the facility meets the requirements of clause (ii) of subparagraph (B) (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e).
(D) Electricity generated by a facility engaged in the combustion of municipal solid waste shall not result in the creation of a renewable energy credit unless the facility meets the requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(i) “Renewables portfolio standard” means the specified percentage of electricity generated by eligible renewable energy resources that a retail seller or a local publicly owned electric utility is required to procure pursuant to this article.
(j) “Retail seller” means an entity engaged in the retail sale of electricity to end-use customers located within the state, including any of the following:
(1) An electrical corporation, as defined in Section 218.
(2) A community choice aggregator. The commission shall institute a rulemaking to determine the manner in which a community choice aggregator will participate in the renewables portfolio standard program subject to the same terms and conditions applicable to an electrical corporation.
(3) An electric service provider, as defined in Section 218.3, for all sales of electricity to customers beginning January 1, 2006. The commission shall institute a rulemaking to determine the manner in which electric service providers will participate in the renewables portfolio standard program. The electric service provider shall be subject to the same terms and conditions applicable to an electrical corporation pursuant to this article. This paragraph does not impair a contract entered into between an electric service provider and a retail customer prior to the suspension of direct access by the commission pursuant to Section 80110 of the Water Code.
(4) “Retail seller” does not include any of the following:
(A) A corporation or person employing cogeneration technology or producing electricity consistent with subdivision (b) of Section 218.
(B) The Department of Water Resources acting in its capacity pursuant to Division 27 (commencing with Section 80000) of the Water Code.
(C) A local publicly owned electric utility.
(k) “WECC” means the Western Electricity Coordinating Council of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, or a successor to the corporation.

SEC. 2.

 Section 399.12.5 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.
399.12.5.

(a)Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 399.12, a small hydroelectric generation facility that satisfies the criteria for an eligible renewable energy resource pursuant to Section 399.12 shall not lose its eligibility if efficiency improvements undertaken after January 1, 2008, cause the generating capacity of the facility to exceed 30 megawatts, and the efficiency improvements do not result in an adverse impact on instream beneficial uses or cause a change in the volume or timing of streamflow. The entire generating capacity of the facility shall be eligible.

(b)Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 399.12, the incremental increase in the amount of electricity generated from a hydroelectric generation facility as a result of efficiency improvements at the facility, is electricity from an eligible renewable energy resource, without regard to the electrical output of the facility, if all of the following conditions are met:

(1)The incremental increase is the result of efficiency improvements from a retrofit that do not result in an adverse impact on instream beneficial uses or cause a change in the volume or timing of streamflow.

(2)The hydroelectric generation facility meets one of the following certification mechanisms:

(A)The hydroelectric generation facility has, within the immediately preceding 15 years, received certification from the State Water Resources Control Board pursuant to Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1341), or has received certification from a regional board to which the state board has delegated authority to issue certification, unless the facility is not subject to certification because there is no potential for discharge into waters of the United States.

(B)If the hydroelectric facility is not located in California, the certification pursuant to Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1341) may be received from the applicable state board or agency or from a regional board to which the state board has delegated authority to issue the certification.

(C)If the hydroelectric generation facility is the Rock Creek Powerhouse, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Project Number 1962, the efficiency improvements have received any necessary incremental certification from the State Water Resources Control Board.

(3)The hydroelectric generation facility is owned by a retail seller or a local publicly owned electric utility, was operational prior to January 1, 2007, the efficiency improvements are initiated on or after January 1, 2008, the efficiency improvements are not the result of routine maintenance activities, as determined by the Energy Commission, and the efficiency improvements were not included in any resource plan sponsored by the facility owner prior to January 1, 2008.

(4)All of the incremental increase in electricity resulting from the efficiency improvements are demonstrated to result from a long-term financial commitment by the retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility. For purposes of this paragraph, “long-term financial commitment” means either new ownership investment in the facility by the retail seller or local publicly owned electric utility or a new or renewed contract with a term of 10 or more years, which includes procurement of the incremental generation.

(c)The incremental increase in the amount of electricity generated from a hydroelectric generation facility as a result of efficiency improvements at the facility are not eligible for supplemental energy payments pursuant to the Renewable Energy Resources Program (Chapter 8.6 (commencing with Section 25740) of Division 15 of the Public Resources Code), or a successor program.

(d)Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 399.12 and subdivisions (a) and (b), a hydroelectric generation facility that is an eligible renewable energy resource pursuant to this article as of January 1, 2010, shall not lose its eligibility if the facility causes a change in the volume or timing of streamflow required by license conditions approved pursuant to the Federal Power Act (Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 791a) of Title 16 of the United States Code) on or after January 1, 2010.