After four years of effort, a one-third renewable energy legislative mandate was signed into law April 12. SBx1 2, by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), increases the current 20 percent alternative electricity requirement for utility portfolios to 33 percent by 2020. \u201cToday, we celebrate the collaboration of state and federal agencies and private businesses,\u201d said Gov. Jerry Brown before signing the bill in a solar panel manufacturing warehouse in Milpitas. \u201cIt puts California at the forefront of the clean energy technology industry,\u201d said Steven Chu, Department of Energy secretary. Chu announced at the signing ceremony that the federal government continues to support solar and other alternative energy technologies and is putting its money where its mouth is. This week, DOE offered critical loan guarantees to two major solar projects in California expected to increase in-state renewable supplies. The loan guarantees are the linchpin of project financing. Sunpower\u2019s 250 MW California Solar Valley Ranch slated for Carrizo Plains in San Luis Obispo landed a $1.18 billion conditional loan guarantee. A vote on a project permit by the San Luis Obispo supervisors could be cast April 19 or May 3. The day before, April 11, DOE announced it finalized a $1.6 billion loan guarantee for BrightSource Energy\u2019s 392 MW Ivanpah solar thermal project under construction in the Southern California desert. Simitian said enactment of his bill \u201csignals to the market that California is serious about 33 percent renewables and investment will follow.\u201d The new law increases the alternative energy mandate from 20 to 25 percent in 2016 then to 33 percent four years later. It gives top billing to in-state renewable supplies and last place to out-of-state deals. The California Public Utilities Commission is given authority to cap costs for utility ratepayers. It also provides utilities and other energy service firms an out if they miss the bill\u2019s renewable mandate due to lack of transmission or non-performing contracts. The bill \u201cmakes sure that the California utilities increase their use of clean power in a manner that promotes stable rates, drives technology innovation, and positions California as a national leader in sustainable energy policy,\u201d stated Matt Freedman, The Utility Reform Network staff attorney.