Legislation that allows funding and a \u201crenewable\u201d imprimatur to investments in big hydroelectric dams would eke out about 24 MW of new electricity supplies. The bill, AB 809 by Assemblymember Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo), squeaked by the Senate Natural Resources Committee July 10. \u201cThe biggest challenge the state faces now is implementation of AB 32,\u201d said Energy, Utilities & Commerce chair Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego). \u201cThe whole scenario is changing,\u201d she explained, as utilities do not think they can meet state requirements for a 20 percent renewable component in their electricity portfolios. She supports the bill for its small step forward. \u201cThis bill maximizes assets,\u201d said the committee chair. The law allows utilities with hydroelectric dams--mainly Pacific Gas & Electric, the bill\u2019s sponsor--to be paid back for investing in efficiency upgrades for their hydro facilities as long as there\u2019s no new water diversions. PG&E estimates the investment at $269 million. Southern California Edison, which has hydroelectric facilities in the Central Sierra Nevada, also supports the bill. Even though the amount of hydro is tiny--assumed to be about 1-2 percent--environmentalists opposed the change in state law. Currently, big hydro facilities are not considered \u201crenewable\u201d for meeting the state\u2019s 20 percent renewable utility portfolio standard.