CPUC Says Utilities Have Met 20% Renewable Energy Milestone

California’s electric utilities have met the goal of serving 20% of their electricity with renewable energy and are on track to far surpass that goal in 2012, the California Public Utilities Commission concluded in a July 31 report to the Legislature.

According to the report, California in 2011 saw the greatest year-to-year increase in renewable generation achieving commercial operation since the beginning of the state’s renewable energy program. The state’s investor-owned utilities served 20.6% of their electricity with renewable energy in 2011 (up from 17% in 2010). In 2011, Pacific Gas and Electric Company served 20.1% of its retail sales with renewable energy, Southern California Edison with 21.1%, and San Diego Gas & Electric with 20.8%.

The state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers, and community choice aggregators regulated by the CPUC to procure 33 percent of retail sales per year from eligible renewable sources by 2020. The RPS also requires retail sellers to achieve intermediate RPS targets of 20 percent from 2011-2013 and of 25 percent from 2014-2016. 

Other highlights from the 2012 1st and 2nd Quarter Renewables Report:

  • Since 2003, 2,871 megawatts (MW) of new renewable capacity achieved commercial operation under the RPS program.  More than 300 MW of new renewable capacity came online in the first two quarters of 2012, and another 2,740 MW is scheduled to come online before the end of the calendar year.
  • The investor-owned utilities filed 16 new contracts for 347 MW of renewable capacity in the first two quarters of 2012. In the same time period, the CPUC approved 48 contracts representing 2,450 MW of renewable capacity, including 34 contracts for projects 20 MW or smaller, 13 of which (for 145 MW) resulted from the first Renewable Auction Mechanism solicitation.

The report is available here.