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ALJ/PVA/jva Mailed 5/10/2005
Decision 05-05-011 May 5, 2005
BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Order Instituting Rulemaking to Implement the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program.
(Filed April 22, 2004)
OPINION CLARIFYING PARTICIPATION OF RENEWABLE DISTRIBUTED GENERATION IN THE RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARDS PROGRAM
In this decision, we address the issue of the participation of renewable distributed generation (DG) in the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) program,1 specifically the question of who owns the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) associated with the generation of energy from renewable DG facilities. 2 The short answer to this question is that the owner of the renewable DG facilities owns the RECs associated with the generation of electricity from those facilities.
We hope that this enunciation of policy will clarify the basis for DG participation in the RPS program, but we note that future developments will likely impact RECs from DG facilities. For example, in R.04-03-017, we will be investigating modifications to our Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), and the legislature is considering the creation of tradable RECs.
Our decision today does not prejudge any REC issues associated with qualifying facilities currently under litigation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and in the federal Court of Appeals, nor does it prejudge how this Commission will resolve issues related to qualifying facility (QF) RECs.31 As used in this decision, DG is a parallel or stand-alone electric generation unit generally located within the electric distribution system at or near the point of consumption (Commission Order Instituting Rulemaking (R.) 04-03-017, March 16, 2004). Eligible renewable DG technologies include photovoltaic, solar thermal electric, wind, and fuel cells using renewable fuels.
2 Comments were received from: Green Power Institute, the Commission's Office of Ratepayer Advocates, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT), the Union of Concerned Scientists, Prevalent Power, Inc., Independent Energy Producers Association (IEP), The Utility Reform Network (TURN), the Center for Resource Solutions, Southern California Edison (SCE), PowerLight Corporation, Clean Power Markets, Inc., San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the Vote Solar Initiative, the California Solar Energy Industry Association (Cal SEIA), Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), RWE Schott Solar, and Central California Power. Reply comments were received from: Green Power Institute (Green Power), R. Thomas Beach, City of San Diego, the CEERT and the Cal SEIA (jointly), the Union of Concerned Scientists, SCE, the Vote Solar Initiative, Prevalent Power, Inc., (Prevalent Power) PG&E, and Central California Power.3 Issues relating to QF RECs will be addressed later in this proceeding; parties have already had a separate opportunity to provide input to the Commission on these issues.