GUEST JUICE: State Regulators Must Level the Playing Field

By V. John White, California Current/ | Link to article

The California Public Utilities Commission in 2013 and 2014 authorized Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to buy power to meet local capacity requirements to fill the gap from the retirement of once-through-cooled power plants and the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California.

We at the Center for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Technologies were heartened by the commission’s directives that the two utilities meet their local capacity needs by following the loading order’s preference for “preferred resources”—energy efficiency, demand response, and renewable generation—over fossil-fueled generation.

This was a first-of-its-kind directive by the commission in a Long Term Procurement Proceeding.

However, this promise of a path to a clean, low-carbon energy future has not been realized by the results of the requests for offers issued by Edison and SDG&E.

We had hoped that the decision was a clear recognition that this commission plays a fundamental role in ensuring California is on course to change the portfolio of resources that supply electricity to state consumers from one based on fossil or gas-fired generation to one employing clean, low-carbon resources.

Disappointingly, the two offer requests have resulted in more gas-fired generation being planned and built on a large scale, with a de minimis amount of preferred resources being procured.

(Link to article)