[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Get weekly updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

News Watch Home

California PUC staff question economics of utility renewable deals 

Credit:  Lisa Weinzimer, Platts, www.platts.com 22 February 2011 ~~

In its zeal to satisfy California’s renewable portfolio standard, the state’s Public Utilities Commission has approved nearly every renewable power supply contract filed by investor-owned utilities, even when the contracts are not economic, the PUC’s consumer advocate said on Friday.

The PUC’s division of ratepayer advocates said that that commission should be more discriminating in examining utility contracts for renewable resources, and establish a clear cost reporting requirement for those deals.

The DRA report said utilities Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric are almost certain to meet the 20% RPS by the end of the “flexible compliance” period in 2013. Flexible compliance provisions of the RPS allow utilities to delay compliance with the 20% by 2010 requirement if they encounter transmission constraints or other hurdles.

Of the 184 contracts for renewable resources that have come before the PUC since the RPS was established in 2002, only two have been rejected, DRA said.

More than half of approved contracts have prices in excess of the “market price referent,” which is a benchmark for assessing costs based on a price for a new 500-MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle turbine facility. On average, DRA said utility contracts with renewable power project developers are at prices 15% higher than the market price referent.

In addition, the funds set aside for above-market contracts for renewable power have been used, but utilities continue to sign deals and they have exceeded the cost cap set by the Legislature by more than $5 billion, DRA said. Because the above-market funds are paid to project developers only as they come online, much of the money has not been provided, but “when these renewable contracts start delivering energy, costs will impact ratepayers,” DRA said.

DRA said the PUC should “give more weight to prices and more clearly consider costs to ratepayers” when it reviews contracts for renewable resources. It also should increase accountability and transparency by establishing clear costs reporting requirements for utilities, having them outline total costs for RPS contracts so far, and expected total costs of contracts for the next 10 years.

Source:  Lisa Weinzimer, Platts, www.platts.com 22 February 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


e-mail X FB LI TG TG Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook

Wind Watch on Linked In Wind Watch on Mastodon