Public power agencies are gearing up to fight mandatory renewable energy portfolio legislation, which they expect to be introduced soon. Southern California municipal utilities claim they are doing better than investor-owned utilities with renewables, but also add that hydro should count as renewable energy. ?The prospect of a mandatory, accelerated renewable portfolio standard appears to be an issue that we may need to fight in the near term,? Bill Carnahan, executive director of the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), stated. Carnahan promised to counteract ?muni-bashing? in Sacramento, ?particularly in the area of renewable resources.? ?The issue will be dealt with this year,? predicted Randy Chinn, chief consultant to the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. He expects a bill will be introduced to step up requirements for munis mirroring the state?s renewables portfolio standard law for investor-owned utilities. SCPPA will put its director?s promise into action next week when it lobbies lawmakers on the expected legislation. Carnahan says his lobbying will be bolstered by a white paper that finds its 12 member agencies ?have acquired 7.6 times as many renewables proportionately compared to investor owned utilities? since June of 1999?a total of 402.3 MW of new capacity. ?We?ll have a pretty good story to tell,? said Carnahan, who added that SCPPA members might commit to more renewables projects in the future. Munis support renewable energy but want to maintain local control over their operations in order to keep rates relatively low and provide service reliability, said Carnahan. SCPPA projects that its member agencies will reach a capacity of 8 percent renewable energy in 2010, with hydropower representing an additional 18 percent of total capacity. ?Our members? view is hydro is renewable,? said Carnahan. ?Hydro really ought to count.? Under state law, hydropower projects 30 MW or larger do not qualify toward meeting the 20 percent renewables standard for investor-owned utilities? portfolios. Munis must adopt renewable energy plans under the law but are not strictly bound by the percentage requirement. ?They want to include Hoover Dam,? said Bernadette del Chiaro, clean energy advocate for Environment California. She said that environmental groups believe large-scale hydropower should not qualify for renewables credit because it?s environmentally harmful. Wind, geothermal power, and landfill gas are the bread and butter of the renewable energy planned by SCPPA members, according to Carnahan. Agencies have solar rebate programs but have concerns about whether installed photovoltaic panels are producing as much energy as promised by their manufacturers and installers, he said. SCPPA is considering quantifying the efficiency levels of solar panel installations throughout Southern California, he added. SCPPA invested in the 30 MW High Winds Energy project in Solano County and is backing a 13 MW landfill gas project in the San Fernando Valley. Members of SCPPA include Anaheim, Azusa, Banning, Burbank, Cerritos, Colton, Glendale, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Riverside, and Vernon, as well as the Imperial Irrigation District.