The California Public Utilities Commission launched new rulemakings February 16 on renewable energy policy and long-term procurement. The commission has attempted to implement the state's 20 percent renewables portfolio standard for more than two years. The initiation of a new rulemaking that focuses on renewables portfolio standard policy "will allow the regulators to step back and see if the RPS is working," said Shannon Eddy, the CPUC's energy-efficiency and renewables adviser. The policy rulemaking is expected to work on a parallel track with the ongoing renewables portfolio standard proceeding. The ongoing proceeding continues to hash out the myriad renewables portfolio standard nuts-and-bolts issues. Those include oversight of the program, annual procurement, reporting, and enforcement. The new renewables portfolio standard rulemaking will include evaluating how electricity service providers and community-choice aggregators participate in the program. Currently, only the investor-owned utilities are required to meet the state's 20 percent green power mandate. The CPUC's new proceeding will attempt to coordinate the renewables program with the California Solar Initiative, which aims to create 3,000 MW of new solar power, along with other new programs. It will also look at the use of renewable energy credits for renewables portfolio standard compliance purposes. This rulemaking - which includes exploring issues through administrative hearings - is expected to be completed in two years. The second docket, dealing with the investor-owned utilities' 10-year procurement plans, is "to support new generation and contracts in a timely fashion," said Sean Gallagher, Energy Division director. It will fold in procurement policies and related programs seeking affordable, technologically advanced, and environmentally sound energy. The utility procurement plans, covering the 2007-16 period, will ideally incorporate the goals set out in the Energy Action Plan and the California Energy Commission's Integrated Energy Policy Report. These include a 15 to 17 percent cushion of extra electricity supplies to satisfy resource-adequacy requirements, the purchase of efficient, clean energy, and a "competitive, transparent and fair" procurement process. This "umbrella" rulemaking also will try to integrate a broad range of related issues, including community-choice aggregation, demand response, critical peak pricing, the renewables portfolio standard, transmission, distributed generation, and qualifying facilities and efficiency. Resource adequacy is being handled in a separate proceeding, which is expected to move in tandem with this new one. The sufficiency of local resources and possible development of a capacity market will be part of the resource-adequacy proceedings, not this new one. The utilities' 10-year power resource plans are expected to be filed this summer.