[ exact phrase in "" • ~10 sec • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]

LOCATION/TYPE

News Home
Archive
RSS

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links

Alerts

Press Releases

FAQs

Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics

Videos

Allied Groups

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.

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

Share:


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook

Share

CONTACT DONATE PRIVACY ABOUT SEARCH
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.
Share

Wind Watch on Facebook

Follow Wind Watch on Twitter