California Public Utilities Commission staff opposes a bill that would allow large hydroelectric projects to count toward the state's renewable portfolio standard, which climbs to 33% by 2020.
"Reducing the demand for new renewable capacity at this stage of the RPS program, when numerous renewable generation projects are in various stages of development, would cause market uncertainty regarding the long-term market signal for new renewable capacity in California and throughout the Western Electricity Coordinating Council," said a memo that the PUC's governmental affairs office sent to the commission Tuesday. The PUC is set to take a position on the bill at a meeting Thursday.
At issue is a bill (Assembly Bill 762) that California Assembly Member Jim Patterson, a Republican, introduced February 21. The bill would lift a current 30-MW eligibility cap for hydro. The Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee will consider the bill at a hearing April 8.