California Energy Commission Letterhead

Preparation of the
2009 Integrated Energy Policy Report

and

Implementation of Renewables
Portfolio Standard Legislation

Docket No. 09-IEP-1G

 

Docket No. 03-RPS-1078
RPS Proceeding

 

Notice of Staff Workshop:
Renewable Energy "Feed-In" Tariffs

Documents for Workshop

The California Energy Commission's (Energy Commission) Renewable Energy Office will conduct a staff workshop regarding a recommended policy path for expanded feed-in tariffs in California. This workshop will highlight the changes made to the draft consultant report, "California Feed-in Tariff Design and Policy Options," CEC-300-2008-009-D2.

The workshop will be held:

MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2008
10 a.m.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Two Energy Commission Committees oversee the work on this subject: the Renewables Committee with Commissioner Karen Douglas as Presiding Member and Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel as Associate Member; and the Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Committee with Commissioner Jeffrey D. Byron as Presiding Member and Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel as Associate Member. These Commissioners may attend and participate in the workshop. Commissioners and staff from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) may also attend and participate.

Audio from this meeting will be broadcast over the Internet. WebEx will also be available. For details on how to participate via WebEx, please see the "Participation through WebEx" section at the end of this notice.

Purpose

The workshop furthers the Energy Commission's implementation of recommendations in the 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) to support both near-term and long-term strategies to reach the state's renewable energy goals. Specifically, the IEPR recommended the Energy Commission collaborate with the CPUC to develop a report to examine the feasibility of establishing a feed-in tariff for projects greater than 20 megawatts (MW). The following policy recommendations from the 2007 IEPR have served as guidelines in developing these reports (California Energy Commission, 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report, CEC-100-2007-008-CMF, p. 147.):

  • To fully examine the impacts of a renewable feed-in tariff in California, the Energy Commission, in collaboration with the CPUC should develop an evaluation and options report investigating the use of feed-in tariffs. (Please note that while the CPUC is participating in the stakeholder process at the staff level, it is not participating in the development of the report through a formal collaborative process.)
  • The Energy Commission should begin a collaborative process with the CPUC to develop feed-in tariffs for larger projects.
  • This work should be completed in 2008 for inclusion in the 2009 IEPR.
  • The report should include a range of mechanisms for determining the appropriate price to pay for renewable energy in designated renewable resource zones.
  • The report should investigate the use of feed-in tariffs to incorporate the value of a diverse mix of renewables as well as the features of the most successful European feed-in tariffs.

The issues and options for establishing an expanded feed-in tariff were initially examined in a draft consultant report, Exploring Feed-in Tariffs For California, which was presented and discussed at an Energy Commission staff workshop on June 30, 2008. The feedback generated from this workshop helped staff to develop six key optional policy paths for feed-in tariffs which are discussed in the second draft consultant report, California Feed-in Tariff Design and Policy Options. A second staff workshop was held on October 1, 2008, to gather stakeholder input on these potential policy options for implementing expanded feed-in tariffs.

During the December 1 workshop, the authors will present the changes made to the second draft consultant report as a result of public testimony and written comments filed following the October 1 workshop, including comments on the recommended policy path option. Additionally, the Energy Commission will consider public input regarding the revised draft report before finalizing it.

The revised report will be available on the Energy Commission website at www.energy.ca.gov/2009_energypolicy/documents. Please review this second draft report before the workshop and be prepared to make comments.

The final report will assist California's energy policy makers in determining the appropriate role of expanded feed-in tariffs to support development of Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)-eligible generation.

The information from this workshop will also support development of the 2009 IEPR, including analyzing changes to California's electricity system required to support higher levels of renewable electricity generation.

Background

Public Resources Code Section 25300, et seq., directs the Energy Commission to develop the IEPR every two years, with updates in the intermediate years, and directs state government entities to carry out their energy-related duties and responsibilities using the information and analyses contained in the adopted IEPR reports.

California currently has a mandate to achieve 20 percent of retail electricity sales from renewable resources by 2010, and the Governor and the state's energy agencies have identified a further goal of 33 percent renewable by 2020. This higher goal is a key strategy for meeting the state's greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

The IEPR Committee issued its Committee Scoping Order for the 2008 IEPR Update on May 15, 2008. One of the topics identified in that order is to identify how the 2020 electricity system could be structured to accommodate higher levels of renewables. Analysis and evaluation on this topic will continue in the 2009 IEPR as well.

California has some experience implementing feed-in tariffs. In response to Assembly Bill 1969 (Yee, Chapter 731, Statutes of 2006), the CPUC has implemented a program through Decision 07-07-027 (Rulemaking 06-05-027) that requires electrical corporations to offer a standard tariff for the purchase of renewable energy output produced by a renewable electric generation facility owned by a public water or wastewater agency within the service territory of the electrical corporations. The CPUC's implementation of the program is designed to make a cumulative total of 250 MW of small-sized renewable projects operated by a public water or wastewater agencies (including municipal wastewater treatment facilities and dairy digesters) eligible for feed-in tariffs. The tariff is set at the applicable market price referent (MPR), the proxy price for a long-term contract to build and operate a combined cycle natural gas facility. The projects must be RPS-eligible and may be up to 1.5 MW in size with contracts for 10, 15, and 20-year terms. Under CPUC Resolution E-4137, effective February 14, 2008, the CPUC conditionally approved tariffs for the following electric corporations: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), Southern California Edison Company (SCE), PacifiCorp, Sierra Pacific Power Company, Mountain Utilities, and Golden State Water Company (operating as Bear Valley Electric Service). Customers in the service territories of PG&E, SDG&E, and SCE have the option to select a contract to sell only the excess energy produced at the facility that is not used on-site, or to sell all energy generated and to buy energy from the utility to serve the customer's load.

Included in Decision 07-07-027, the CPUC adopted a feed-in tariff program for SCE and PG&E customers who install non-water/ wastewater RPS-eligible facilities up to 1.5 MW in size. This program is capped at a cumulative total of 228 MW and is also set at the MPR. As of October 2008, PG&E has signed twelve contracts totaling just over 9.5 MW. The CPUC further expanded the tariff through Decision 08-09-033, to SDG&E customers for an additional 20 MW.

Additionally, SB 380 (Kehoe, Chapter 544, Statutes of 2008) amended section 399.20 of the Public Utilities Code to expand the up to 1.5 MW feed-in tariff program to include all eligible renewable generation as defined by section 399.12 for electrical corporations under the CPUC jurisdiction. This will be implemented in January, 2009 and will remain open until the 500 MW cap is met.

SCE also offers standard contracts for biogas and biomass generators less than 20 MW priced at the 2006 MPR of approximately $0.08/kilowatt hour (kWh). The expiration date for SCE's Standard Contract for Biomass is 12/31/2008 or 250 MW, whichever comes first. As of late October 2008, SCE has 11 MW under contract and another 30 MW in negotiation. If SCE does not reach 250 MW by 12/31/2008, SCE may consider continuing to offer the contracts in 2009.

Written Comments

Written comments on the draft report or responses to questions posed during the workshop must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Include the docket numbers No. 09-IEP-1G and No. 03-RPS-1078 and indicate 2009 IEPR - Feed-in Tariffs in the subject line or first paragraph of your comments. Please hand-deliver or mail an original.

If the original is more than 20 pages, please also provide 35 paper copies to:

California Energy Commission
Dockets Office, MS-4
Re: Docket No. 09-IEP-1G and No. 03-RPS-1078
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

The Energy Commission encourages comments by e-mail. Please include your name or organization in the name of the file. Those submitting comments by electronic mail should provide them in either Microsoft Word format or as a Portable Document File (PDF) to docket@energy.state.ca.us. One paper copy must also be sent to the Energy Commission's Docket Unit.

All written materials relating to this workshop will be filed with the Dockets Unit and become part of the public record in this proceeding.

Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser, Elena Miller, provides the public assistance in participating in Energy Commission activities. If you want information on how to participate in this forum, please contact the Public Adviser's Office at (916) 654-4489 or toll free at (800) 822-6228, by fax at (916) 654-4493, or by e-mail at PublicAdviser@energy.state.ca.us. If you have a disability and require assistance to participate, please contact Lou Quiroz at (916) 654-5146 at least five days in advance.

Please direct all news media inquiries to the Media Office at (916) 654-4989 or by e-mail at mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us. For technical questions regarding the subject matter of this workshop, please contact Drake Johnson by phone at (916) 651-0312, or by e-mail at djohnson@energy.state.ca.us. For general questions regarding the IEPR proceeding, please contact Suzanne Korosec, Assistant Director of Policy Development, by phone at (916) 654-4516 or by e-mail at skorosec@energy.state.ca.us.

Date Mailed: November 17, 2008
Mail Lists: 5507 RPS, 5504 New. E-mail list-serves: IEPR, Renewables

Participation through WebEx, the Energy Commission's On-Line Meeting Service

Computer Logon with a Direct Phone Number:

  • Please go to https://energy.webex.com and enter the unique meeting number:
    924 495 154.
  • When prompted, enter your information and the following meeting password: meeting@10.
  • After you login, a prompt will appear on-screen for you to provide your phone number. In the Number box, type your area code and phone number and click OK to receive a call back on your phone for the audio of the meeting. International callers can use the "Country/Region" button to help make their connection.

Computer Logon for Callers with an Extension Phone Number, etc:

  • Please go to https://energy.webex.com and enter the unique meeting number:
    924 495 154.
  • When prompted, enter your information and the following meeting password: meeting@10
  • After you login, a prompt will ask for your phone number. CLICK CANCEL.
  • Instead call 1-866-469-3239 (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada). When prompted, enter the meeting number above and your unique Attendee ID number which is listed in the top left area of your screen after you login. International callers can dial in using the "Show all global call-in numbers" link (also in the top left area).

Telephone Only (No Computer Access):

If you have difficulty joining the meeting, please call the WebEx Technical Support number at 1-866-229-3239. Please be aware that the meeting's WebEx audio and on-screen activity may be recorded.