CEC: Utilities Short of 2004 Renewables Targets

By Published On: December 9, 2005

California’s investor-owned utilities are falling short of the state’s renewables portfolio standard targets, according to a draft report discussed at a December 7 California Energy Commission workshop. Utility representatives, however, questioned the report’s accuracy. The commission expects to adopt the document, the Renewables Portfolio Standard Procurement Verification Report, in final form on January 18. It also plans to approve revised accounting guidelines used to verify that utilities are meeting their renewables targets and that designated power purchases qualify for supplemental energy payments. The California Public Utilities Commission is supposed to use the report in setting future utility procurement targets under the renewables portfolio standard program. The draft report, which covers 2004, shows that Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric exceeded their annual procurement targets. However, they did so by purchasing power generated by renewable energy facilities that do not count toward the annual incremental procurement target. Reviving plants such as idled old geothermal plants and small hydro facilities are ineligible under the program because it aims to bring new green power supplies on line. Pacific Gas & Electric fell short of meeting its procurement target for 2004, the report said. Under the renewables portfolio standard law, the CPUC sets annual procurement targets for each utility of at least 1 percent. Those targets include baseline renewable power and incremental procurement targets. The baselines include the renewable power the utilities used when the law went into effect and any additional power the utilities might buy from old facilities, plus increases in renewable power from previous years. Utility representatives who disagreed with the calculations said they would meet with the agency’s staff to talk about the report?s conclusions before it’s finalized.

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