Amended in Assembly May 29, 2013

Amended in Assembly May 24, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 23, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 9, 2013

Amended in Assembly March 21, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1295


Introduced by Assembly Member Roger Hernández

February 22, 2013


An act to add and repeal Chapter 7.6 (commencing with Section 2831) of Part 2 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1295, as amended, Roger Hernández. Public utilities: renewable energy: community renewables option.

Under existing law, the Public Utilities Commission has regulatory jurisdiction over public utilities, including electrical corporations, as defined, while local publicly owned electric utilities, as defined, are under the direction of their governing boards. Existing law authorizes the commission to fix the rates and charges for every public utility, and requires that those rates and charges be just and reasonable. Under existing law, the local government renewable energy self-generation program authorizes a local government, as defined, to receive a bill credit, as defined, to be applied to a designated benefiting account for electricity exported to the electrical grid by an eligible renewable generating facility, as defined, and requires the commission to adopt a rate tariff for the benefiting account.

The California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program, referred to as the RPS program, requires a retail seller of electricity, as defined, and local publicly owned electric utilities to purchase specified minimum quantities of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources, as defined, for specified compliance periods, sufficient to ensure that the procurement of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources achieves 20% of retail sales for the period January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2013, inclusive, 25% of retail sales by December 31, 2016, and 33% of retail sales by December 31, 2020, and in all subsequent years. The RPS program, consistent with the goals of procuring the least-cost and best-fit eligible renewable energy resources that meet project viability principles, requires that all retail sellers procure a balanced portfolio of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources, as specified.

This bill would require an electrical corporation to provide a community renewables option allowing a subscribing customer’s bill be adjusted to reflect the customer’s subscription in the output of a community renewables facility. The bill would require the commission to authorize the tariff for community renewables option by July 1, 2014. The bill would, on and after January 1, 2016, require the commission to evaluate the demand for the community renewables option. If the commission finds that the community renewables option should be discontinued, the bill would make the above provisions inoperative. The bill would authorize a local publicly owned utility to offer abegin delete comparableend delete community renewables option. This bill would repeal the provision of the community renewables option on January 1, 2020.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Chapter 7.6 (commencing with Section 2831) is
2added to Part 2 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code, to read:

3 

4Chapter  7.6. Community Renewables Facility
5

 

6

2831.  

As used in this article, the following terms mean the
7following:

P3    1(a) “Community renewables facility” means an electric
2generation facility that has elected to participate in the community
3renewables option.

4(b) “Community renewables option” means the right of an
5electric generation facility to participate in a program that allows
6a customer to subscribe to the output of an electric generation
7facility.

8(c) “Electric generation facility” means an electric generation
9facility located within the service territory of, and developed to
10sell electricity to, an electrical corporation that meets all of the
11following criteria:

12(1) Has an effective capacity of not more than three megawatts.

13(2) Is interconnected and operates in parallel with the electrical
14transmission and distribution grid.

15(3) Is strategically located and interconnected to the electrical
16transmission and distribution grid in a manner that optimizes the
17deliverability of electricity generated at the facility to load centers.

18(4) Is an eligible renewable energy resource, as defined in
19Section 399.12.

20(5) Meets all the requirements established pursuant to Section
21399.20 that are applicable to electric generation facilities.

22(d) “Feed-in tariff payment” means the payment that is due to
23the electric generation facility in accordance with the tariff or
24standard contract established pursuant to Section 399.20 as
25described in a monthly total payment.

26(e) “Subscribing customer” means a customer of an electrical
27corporation who has subscribed to the output of a community
28renewables facility.

29(f) “Subscription amount” means the percentage of kilowatthours
30delivered to an electrical corporation from a community renewables
31facility to which a subscribing customer has subscribed.

32(g) “Unsubscribed output” means the percentage of
33kilowatthours delivered to an electrical corporation from a
34community renewables facility to which no subscribing customer
35has subscribed.

36

2831.5.  

A community renewables facility is not an electrical
37corporation, as defined in Section 218 or an electric service
38provider, as defined in Section 218.3.

P4    1

2832.  

(a) An electrical corporation shall provide a community
2renewables option that allows a subscribing customer’s bill to be
3adjusted to reflect the customer’s subscription.

4(b) In approving the tariff, the commission shall ensure all of
5the following:

6(1) Customers that do not participate in the community
7renewables option are indifferent to whether other customers
8participate in the community renewables option, and no costs are
9shifted from subscribing customers to nonsubscribing customers.

10(2) An electric generation facility that has executed a standard
11contract with an electrical corporation and has begun deliveries
12pursuant to the contract may, in its sole discretion, elect to become
13a community renewables facility.

14(3) (A) The community renewables facility is solely responsible
15for any and all arrangements, agreements, or disputes with its
16subscribing customers concerning the community renewables
17option. The community renewables facility shall communicate, in
18writing, to the electrical corporation, in a timely manner, to be
19specified in the electrical corporation’s tariff and contract, but not
20less than once per year, information necessary for the electrical
21corporation to administer the community renewables option that
22includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

23(i) The name of each subscribing customer.

24(ii) The service address and service account number of each
25subscribing customer to which a bill adjustment should be applied.

26(iii) Each subscribing customer’s subscription amount.

27(iv) The unsubscribed output, if any, for which payment should
28be made directly to the community renewables facility.

29(B) The electrical corporation shall not be a party to an
30arrangement or agreement between the community renewables
31facility and the subscribing customer.

32(4) The electrical corporation shall pay the community
33renewables facility for any unsubscribed output by multiplying
34the unsubscribed output by the feed-in tariff payment.

35(5) (A) Customer subscriptions shall not be credited towards
36the electrical corporation’s procurement requirements pursuant to
37Section 399.15 but shall continue to count toward the electrical
38corporation’s proportionate share of the statewide cap specified
39in Section 399.20.

P5    1(B) In calculating its procurement requirements pursuant to
2Section 399.15, an electrical corporation may exclude from the
3total retail sales the kilowatthours subscribed to by participating
4customers pursuant to this section.

5(6) Any unsubscribed output from a community renewables
6begin deletegenerators end deletebegin insertgenerator end insertshall continue to be credited towards the
7electrical corporation’s procurement requirements pursuant to
8Section 399.15 and shall count toward the electrical corporation’s
9proportionate share of the statewide cap specified in Section
10399.20.

11(c) No later than July 1, 2014, the commission shall authorize
12the tariff for the community renewables option consistent with this
13section, including setting a reasonable cap on total megawatts that
14can be subscribed to under a community renewables program
15pursuant to this section.

16(d) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (5) of subdivision (c)
17of Section 2831, the commission may allow the renewable
18programs adopted by the commission in commission decisions
1910-12-048 and 09-06-049 to include a community renewables
20option if the community renewables option meets the requirements
21of subdivision (c). All purchases pursuant to this subdivision shall
22count toward the electrical corporation’s proportional share of the
23program’s cap.

24(e) An electrical corporation shall recover from the community
25renewables facility any costs of implementing the community
26renewables option reasonably attributable to the community
27facility. Any implementation costs not reasonably attributable to
28the community renewables facility shall be recovered from the
29ratepayers, as determined by the commission.

30(f) If a customer participates in direct transactions pursuant to
31paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 365 or Section 365.1,
32the electrical corporation that provides distribution service for the
33customer is not obligated to allow that customer to participate in
34a community renewables option.

35(g) (1) On and after January 1, 2016, the commission shall
36evaluate the demand for the community renewables option and
37consider whether to continue offering a community renewables
38option.

39(2) If the commission determines that the community renewables
40option should terminate, the commission shall issue an order to
P6    1that effect and deliver a copy of the order to the Secretary of State.
2The section shall become inoperative on the effective date of the
3order.

4

2832.5.  

A local publicly owned electric utility required to
5comply with Section 399.32 may offer abegin delete comparableend delete community
6renewables option for an electric generation facility as defined in
7Section 399.32.

8

2833.  

This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1,
92020, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute,
10that is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends that date.



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