California PUC says utilities on track to meet renewable requirements

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said utilities are on track to meet renewable energy requirements for 2020, according to its annual Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) report.

The state’s RPS requires utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators (CCAs) to procure 33 percent of retail sales per year from renewable sources by 2020 and 60 percent by 2030. By 2045, the goal is to have a 100 percent carbon free electric grid.

The report shows that the IOUs and SMJUs are well-positioned to meet RPS requirements. Specifically, as of 2020, the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) have executed renewable electricity contracts necessary to meet the 2020 RPS requirement. Over the last four years, IOU RPS procurement has increased by 17 percent, driven primarily by load departure from IOU service to CCAs. Further, IOUs are forecasted to have excess renewable procurement through 2027.

Some multi-jurisdictional utilities (SMJUs), electric service providers (ESPs), and community choice aggregators need to procure additional renewable resources to meet the 2021-2024 compliance period requirements.

The RPS program has helped achieve significant reductions in renewable electricity costs as contract prices for RPS-eligible energy have dropped an average of 13 percent per year between 2007 and 2019. In 2019, costs reached a historic low average price of $28/MWh, a significant decrease from $38/MWh in 2018. An average of 73 percent of the IOU, SMJU, and CCA renewable portfolios were solar and wind resources in 2019.

Dave Kovaleski

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