Code Section

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 1. REGULATION OF PUBLIC UTILITIES [201 - 3260]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )
  

PART 1. PUBLIC UTILITIES ACT [201 - 2120]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )
  

CHAPTER 2.3. Electrical Restructuring [330 - 400]

  ( Chapter 2.3 added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 854, Sec. 10. )
  

ARTICLE 16. California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program [399.11 - 399.32]
  ( Article 16 added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 516, Sec. 3. )

  
399.30.  

(a) (1) 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).

(2) Beginning January 1, 2019, a local publicly owned electric utility subject to Section 9621 shall incorporate the renewable energy resources procurement plan required by this section as part of a broader integrated resource plan developed and adopted pursuant to Section 9621.

(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.

(4) January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2024, inclusive.

(5) January 1, 2025, to December 31, 2027, inclusive.

(6) January 1, 2028, 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, 33 percent by December 31, 2020, 40 percent by December 31, 2024, 45 percent by December 31, 2027, and 50 percent by December 31, 2030. The Energy Commission shall establish appropriate multiyear compliance periods for all subsequent years that require the local publicly owned electric utility to procure not less than 50 percent of retail sales of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources.

(3) A local publicly owned electric utility shall adopt procurement requirements consistent with Section 399.16.

(4) Beginning January 1, 2014, in calculating the procurement requirements under this article, a local publicly owned electric utility may exclude from its total retail sales the kilowatthours generated by an eligible renewable energy resource that is credited to a participating customer pursuant to a voluntary green pricing or shared renewable generation program. Any exclusion shall be limited to electricity products that do not meet the portfolio content criteria set forth in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 399.16. Any renewable energy credits associated with electricity credited to a participating customer shall not be used for compliance with procurement requirements under this article, shall be retired on behalf of the participating customer, and shall not be further sold, transferred, or otherwise monetized for any purpose. To the extent possible for generation that is excluded from retail sales under this subdivision, a local publicly owned electric utility shall seek to procure those eligible renewable energy resources that are located in reasonable proximity to program participants.

(d) (1) The governing board of a local publicly owned electric utility shall adopt procurement requirements consistent with subparagraph (B) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of, and subdivision (b) of, Section 399.13.

(2) The governing board of a local publicly owned electric utility may adopt the following measures:

(A) Conditions that allow for delaying timely compliance consistent with subdivision (b) of Section 399.15.

(B) 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. 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) 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.

(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) 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.

(2) If, during a year within a compliance period set forth in subdivision (b), a local publicly owned electric utility receives greater than 50 percent of its retail sales from its own hydroelectric generation, it is not required to procure eligible renewable energy resources that exceed the lesser of the following for that year:

(A) The portion of the local publicly owned electric utility’s retail sales unsatisfied by the local publicly owned electric utility’s 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 soft target adopted by the Energy Commission for the intervening years of the relevant compliance period.

(C) The cost limitation adopted pursuant to this section.

(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).

(5) The Energy Commission shall adjust the total quantities of eligible renewable energy resources to be procured by a local publicly owned electric utility for a compliance period to reflect any reductions required pursuant to paragraph (2).

(l) (1) For purposes of this subdivision, “large hydroelectric generation” means electricity generated from a hydroelectric facility that is not an eligible renewable energy resource and provides electricity to a local publicly owned electric utility from facilities owned by the federal government as a part of the federal Central Valley Project or a joint powers agency formed and created pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 6500) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

(2) If, during a year within a compliance period set forth in subdivision (b), a local publicly owned electric utility receives greater than 50 percent of its retail sales from large hydroelectric generation, it is not required to procure eligible renewable energy resources that exceed the lesser of the following for that year:

(A) The portion of the local publicly owned electric utility’s retail sales unsatisfied by the local publicly owned electric utility’s large hydroelectric generation.

(B) The soft target adopted by the Energy Commission for the intervening years of the relevant compliance period.

(3) Except for an existing agreement effective as of January 1, 2015, or extension or renewal of that agreement, any new procurement commitment shall not be eligible to count towards the determination that the local publicly owned electric utility receives more than 50 percent of its retail sales from large hydroelectric generation in any year.

(4) The Energy Commission shall adjust the total quantities of eligible renewable energy resources to be procured by a local publicly owned electric utility for a compliance period to reflect any reductions required pursuant to paragraph (2).

(5) This subdivision does not modify the compliance obligation of a local publicly owned electric utility to satisfy the requirements of subdivision (c) of Section 399.16.

(m) (1) (A) For purposes of this subdivision, “unavoidable long-term contracts and ownership agreements” means commitments for electricity from a coal-fired powerplant, located outside the state, originally entered into by a local publicly owned electric utility before June 1, 2010, that is not subsequently modified to result in an extension of the duration of the agreement or result in an increase in total quantities of energy delivered during any compliance period set forth in subdivision (b).

(B) The governing board of a local publicly owned electric utility shall demonstrate in its renewable energy resources procurement plan required pursuant to subdivision (f) that any cancellation or divestment of the commitment would result in significant economic harm to its retail customers that cannot be substantially mitigated through resale, transfer to another entity, early closure of the facility, or other feasible measures.

(2) For the compliance period set forth in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b), a local publicly owned electric utility meeting the requirement of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) may adjust its renewable energy procurement targets to ensure that the procurement of additional electricity from eligible renewable energy resources, in combination with the procurement of electricity from unavoidable long-term contracts and ownership agreements, does not exceed the total retail sales of the local publicly owned electric utility during that compliance period. The local publicly owned electric utility may limit its procurement of eligible renewable energy resources for that compliance period to no less than an average of 33 percent of its retail sales.

(3) The Energy Commission shall approve any reductions in procurement targets proposed by a local publicly owned electric utility if it determines that the requirements of this subdivision are satisfied.

(n) 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.

(o) 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 (n).

(p) (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) 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.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 677, Sec. 5. (SB 1393) Effective January 1, 2017.)