CEC Rejects Edison Claim to RECs



California Energy Commission Upholds Integrity of Renewable Portfolio Standard Markets by Rejecting Double Claims for Mountain View Wind Projects

Jeff Swenerton
CRS Communications Director

SAN FRANCISCO (July 28, 2010) — The California Energy Commission (CEC) today approved the 2006 Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Verification Report, finding that Southern California Edison (SCE) should not be allowed to claim renewable energy certificates (RECs) generated from the Mountain View I & II wind facilities toward its RPS goals during the period covered by the report.

Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) welcomes the decision as a major step in upholding the integrity of markets for renewable energy by preventing a double-claim against those RECs by the utility after the RECs have already been claimed by legitimate purchasers.

SCE, a utility subject to the California RPS, had been applying its purchases of electricity from the 67 MW Mountain View facilities in San Gorgonio Pass, CA, toward its RPS requirements since 2004. Edison assumed the energy-only purchase contracts from the California Department of Water Resources, which bought the power from Mountain View owners to meet emergency energy needs in response to the western power crisis. However, the contracts explicitly left all renewable attributes to the facilities’ owner, which sold RECs to various voluntary market participants starting in 2004.

CRS, administrator of the Green-e Energy independent certification program for renewable energy, had testified in the CEC proceeding that the RECs in question were clearly the property of other purchasers. CRS documented over 1.2 million MWh of RECs transactions from 2004–2007, involving two dozen wholesale marketers and utilities and over 70,000 retail customers, including tens of thousands of participants in California municipal utility green pricing programs.

“Allowing Edison’s claim would disrupt the voluntary market, impacting contractual agreements involving over twenty REC sellers and thousands of retail purchasers of green power,” said Jennifer Martin, CRS deputy director.

In discussions leading to the unanimous approval of the report and its recommendations, CEC Commissioner Robert Weisenmiller emphasized the importance of preventing double-counting of RECs. “I would hesitate to pull the rug out from under voluntary markets,” Weisenmiller said. “Most people in the state realized the RECs were not part of the Mountain View contracts. It’s pretty clear that was the case.”

The 2006 RPS Verification Report now heads to the California Public Utilities Commission to determine if a shortfall in Edison’s allowed renewable energy might require remedial action or penalties. The utility may be able to use flexible compliance measures allowed by regulators to avoid financial penalties, including banking over purchases from other years, or applying future purchases to meet the gap in the period in question.

California’s investor-owned utilities and other retail power sellers are supposed to meet a 20% RPS mandate by the end of this year. However, the latest CPUC figures indicate Edison will fall short this year and may not reach 20 percent until at least 2012.

About Center for Resource Solutions
Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) is a national nonprofit with global impact. CRS brings forth expert responses to climate change issues with the speed and effectiveness necessary to provide real-time solutions. Its leadership through collaboration and environmental innovation builds policies and consumer-protection mechanisms in renewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions, and energy efficiency that foster healthy and sustained growth in national and international markets. For more information about its programs, including Green-e, visit www.resource-solutions.org and www.green-e.org.




©2010 Center for Resource Solutions. For more information, see us at www.resource-solutions.org or call 415-561-2100.


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