California Energy Commission Letterhead

Implementation of Renewables
Investment Plan Legislation



Docket No. 02-REN-1038
Renewable Energy Program

Notice of Business Meeting
RE: Guideline Revisions for Renewable
Energy Program and RPS Implementation

 

Notice to Consider Adoption of Changes to the
Existing Renewable Facilities Program Guidebook

The California Energy Commission (Energy Commission) will hold a regularly scheduled Business Meeting on:

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2008
10 a.m.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISSION
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room A
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)
Audio from this meeting will be broadcast over the Internet.
For details, please go to:

www.energy.ca.gov/webcast/

As part of the September 24, 2008, Business Meeting, the Energy Commission will consider adopting revisions to the Guidebook for the Existing Renewable Facilities Program (Guidebook). This Guidebook was initially adopted in February 2003.

The Existing Renewable Facilities Program (ERFP) provides funding in the form of production incentives to eligible renewable energy facilities for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of eligible electricity generated. The facility must use an eligible renewable energy resource to generate electricity and be located either within the state or near the state's border with its first point of interconnection to the transmission systems within the state. Eligible renewable energy resources include biomass, solar thermal electric, and wind. Although existing wind facilities are technically eligible for funding, they currently do not require assistance. Therefore, all ERFP funds are available for eligible existing solid-fuel biomass facilities and solar thermal electric facilities.

The Energy Commission's Renewables Committee (Committee) recommends these ERFP Guidebook revisions pursuant to Public Resources Code section 25747, which authorizes the Energy Commission to adopt substantive changes to the Guidebook upon providing ten days written notice. Changes shall take effect once approved by the Energy Commission at a publicly noticed meeting.

Background

Senate Bill 1250 (Perata, Chapter 512, Statutes of 2006) made significant changes to section 25740 et seq. of the Public Resources Code, including requirements related to the ERFP in Section 25742. These changes significantly modified how the Energy Commission must evaluate applications for ERFP funding in current and future funding cycles. The important program changes mandated by SB 1250 will continue to affect both the Energy Commission's basis and decision in determining the funding level for each facility.

Before the passage of SB 1250, the Energy Commission set uniform target prices and production incentive caps based on the facility's technology. With the passage of SB 1250, however, the program was changed as follows:

"Each existing facility seeking an award pursuant to this section shall be evaluated by the [Energy Commission] to determine the amount of the funds being sought, the cumulative amount of funds the facility has received previously from the [Energy Commission] and other state sources, the value of any past and current federal or state tax credits, the facility's contract price for energy and capacity, the prices received by similar facilities, the market value of the facility, and the likelihood that the award will make the facility competitive and self-sustaining within the 2007-2011 investment cycle. The [Energy Commission] shall use this evaluation to determine the value of an award to the public relative to other renewable energy investment alternatives. The [Energy Commission] shall compile its findings and report them to the Legislature in the reports prepared pursuant to Section 25748."

The Existing Renewable Facilities Program Guidebook: Fourth Edition reflected the changes enacted by SB 1250.

Following the adoption of the Fourth Edition of the Guidebook, the ERFP was further modified with the enactment of Senate Bill 1036 (Perata, Chapter 685, Statutes of 2007). The statute changed the ERFP's allocation of funds from the Renewable Resources Trust Fund from 10 percent to 20 percent of the funds collected for the Renewable Energy Program effective January 1, 2008.

In response to issues raised in 2007 by program participants; challenges faced by the Energy Commission in processing funding award applications for the 2007 calendar year; and, the enactment of SB 1036, the Energy Commission's Renewables Committee directed the staff to modify the Guidebook. Staff proposed changes that were intended to assist applicants in complying with program requirements, clarify the process used by the Energy Commission to determine funding award decisions under SB 1250, and incorporate the statutes enacted in SB 1036. The Renewables Committee held a workshop on December 13, 2007 to seek public input on staff's proposed changes to the Guidebook, and to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to present their own proposals for implementing the ERFP. Staff subsequently revised the Guidebook to incorporate public comment as directed by the Renewables Committee. On June 12, 2008, Energy Commission staff held a second workshop to discuss the revised staff draft changes to the Guidebook. After careful consideration of public comments from both workshops, the September 2008 draft Guidebook reflects the Renewables Committee's recommendations for implementing the program.

The proposed Guidebook revisions simplify the implementation of the ERFP by basing production incentives on the contract terms, energy price, and technology. Additionally, the process is made more transparent by providing target prices and production incentive caps for eligible facilities in the Guidebook. Also, the proposed Guidebook streamlines facilities' reporting requirements. Other technical and conforming changes are also proposed.

The proposed Guidebook revisions are posted on the Energy Commission's website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/renewables/

Hard copies of the proposed Guidebook revisions may be obtained by contacting Gina Fontanilla by phone at: (916) 654-4524 or by e-mail at gfontani@energy.state.ca.us.

Written Comments

The Energy Commission encourages members of the public to submit written comments on the proposed Guidebook revisions in advance of the Business Meeting. An original and 11 copies of any comments filed by mail or in person should be provided to the Energy Commission's Docket Unit. Parties may also file a single copy electronically with the Docket Unit and follow up with an original copy by mail. If you are providing written comments at the Business Meeting, please make an additional 50 copies available at the beginning of the meeting.

Please send or deliver written materials to:

California Energy Commission
Re: Docket No. 02-REN-1038
Docket Unit, MS-4
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5504
E-Mail: docket@energy.state.ca.us

All written materials filed with the Docket Unit will become part of the public record in this proceeding.

Public Participation

The Energy Commission's Public Adviser's Office provides public assistance to anyone wishing to participate in Energy Commission activities. If you would like 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 pao@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. If you have questions on the technical subject matter of this forum, please contact Jason Orta, ERFP Lead, at (916) 653-5851 or by email atjorta@energy.state.ca.us.

commissioner signature
KAREN DOUGLAS
Commissioner and Presiding Member
Renewables Committee

commissioner signature
JACKALYNE PFANNENSTIEL
Chairman and Associate Member
Renewables Committee