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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reports it has approved the renewable energy plans of the state’s utilities, clearing the way for the utilities to solicit bids for green energy procurement. The utilities must file final RPS procurement plans with the CPUC to initiate the RPS solicitation process within 14 days.

California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) is considered one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the United States. According to the Commission, the RPS program “requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources to 33 percent of total procurement by 2020.”

The CPUC decision approves the renewable energy procurement plans of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The decision enables SCE to bypass holding a 2012 RPS solicitation and instead lets the utility focus on procurement from small distributed generation renewables.

The CPUC also reports, “The decision includes modifications pertaining to standard variables for the least-cost, best-fit bid evaluation methodology; contract termination rights based on higher than expected transmission upgrade costs; and the use of energy-only and full deliverability Time of Delivery factors.”

Said Commissioner Mark J. Ferron, the lead Commissioner for the proceeding, explains, “Adopting these procurement plans and holding 2012 RPS solicitations is important for maintaining a robust renewable energy market in California. I look forward to working with all parties in the near future to make the RPS program more transparent and streamlined by reforming the least-cost best-fit methodology for all utilities and adopting procurement process reforms.”

Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon adds: “California’s RPS policies must be inclusive of California’s dynamic and ever evolving demographics to continue to lead our nation and the world in clean technology. I am pleased this decision recognizes the value of diversity in utility energy procurement.”

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