In April, California made another big leap ahead in the clean energy race. At a solar panel factory in Milpitas, with Dept of Energy Secretary Steven Chu joining him on stage, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation making the 33%-by-2020 Renewables Portfolio Standard the law of the land. (Watch a video of the bill signing here.) Vote Solar’s newest advocate, Susannah Churchill, took this happy opportunity to develop a memo including an update on how far California’s utilities and others have already gone towards 33%, as well as a summary of what the new law says about how much of the standard can be met via out-of-state renewable projects. Some of her key conclusions include:
- Despite aggressive contracting beyond 20%, California’s large IOUs should still have a significant appetite for renewables procurement in coming years.
- Munis, ESPs and CCAs in California are collectively far behind the large IOUs in their required progress toward 33% renewables. The newly RPS-obligated munis, which serve about one quarter of the state’s load, will represent an important source of renewables demand.
- Renewable projects outside the state that are able to interconnect to a California balancing area, or schedule or dynamically transfer energy directly into a California balancing area, will be better situated to meet future California renewables demand than those that cannot.
- Projects outside the state will be better able to compete for California renewables demand if adequate transmission is available to allow renewable energy to be delivered directly into a California balancing area.