The Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) rulemaking at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is rumbling forward. Commissioner Ferron (the assigned Commissioner) has taken a cautious approach by issuing a Scoping Ruling that was not as far-reaching as some in the industry had hoped, but still providing some structure for the months (and likely years-- that's how large and broad this rulemaking is) to come. More impressively and pointedly, the Commission's assignment of multiple (4! at last count) Administrative Law Judges has allowed the issuance of 3 different recent Administrative Law Judge's rulings requesting comment on various important topics.
So far, the first asked for comments on an implementation proposal for Senate Bill 32 and recent amendments to Section 399.20 that would determine the feed-in tariff price for renewable facilities up to 3 MW without necessarily basing it on the Market Price Referent. This is obviously a big deal for anyone who hopes to utilize the provisions of the feed-in tariff, so there were a lot of comments in response. No proposed decision based on that ruling just yet, but it'll likely be the first in the proceeding.
The second asked for comments, which are due on August 8, on the implementation of the new portfolio content categories for the RPS program. This is a particularly hot-button issue for out-of-state renewable generators who hope to sell their renewable energy credits (RECs) into California-- depending on the Commission's determination, those sales of RECs may be severely limited (see DWT's advisory on this issue) and it may potentially harm the development of renewable facilities outside of California.
Finally, the third asked for comments, which are due August 30th, on the new procurement targets for the RPS program. This one is probably the most interesting to the general public as it relates to how quickly California will get to 33% and how retail sellers will be held accountable. Lots of moving parts, and we've only scratched the surface. Stay tuned!