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The Report of My Death Was and Exaggeration: Renewables Portfolio Standards Live On
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The Report of My Death Was and Exaggeration: Renewables Portfolio Standards Live On



As of 2013, there are 29 states that have Renewables Portfolio Standards. There have been multiple media reports addressing attempts to weaken these standards across the country, but few have ...

As of 2013, there are 29 states that have Renewables Portfolio Standards. There have been multiple media reports addressing attempts to weaken these standards across the country, but few have discussed the work being done to strengthen these standards. This report addresses both sides to the story.



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    The Report of My Death Was and Exaggeration: Renewables Portfolio Standards Live On The Report of My Death Was and Exaggeration: Renewables Portfolio Standards Live On Document Transcript

    • “The Report of My Death Was an Exaggeration”: Renewables Portfolio Standards Live OnJustin Barnes and Chelsea BarnesKeyes, Fox & Wiedman LLPOriginally Released April 12, 2013Amended with Updated Bill Statuses and New Legislation April 24, 2013There has been much ado lately about the wave of “bad” Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) billspopping up in state legislatures around the United States. We have tracked RPS policies closely for manyyears and continue to track it as part of our legislative and regulatory tracking services offered throughKeyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP. Recently, we’ve received our share of public inquiries regarding potentialchanges to these policies. In fact, we’ve been consulted on many of the RPS related news articlespublished this year. We thought it would be both appropriate and helpful to distribute our own analysisof this situation. At the outset, we would like to state that although there’s good cause for renewablesstakeholders to be concerned, particularly in a few states, despite what you might have read1,2,3,4,renewable energy policy is not going down in flames this year. We ask that those of you considering ahasty career change read on with the following broad findings in mind:1. Legislative efforts to weaken or repeal RPS policies aren’t new.2. Legislative efforts to weaken RPS policies have rarely succeeded.3. There’s still a lot of good stuff happening out there.In order to justify the assertions above, this article will inventory, categorize and analyze trends of RPSrelated legislation introduced so far in 2013; discuss such legislation in the context of RPS policyevolution over time; and shed more light on what these bills mean for the renewables industry.First off, if we’re going to start out on a path of making judgments about “good” RPS bills and “bad” RPSbills, we need to establish a point of reference. What is the purpose of an RPS? What is it meant to do?1“Renewable Energy Standard Target of Multi Pronged Attack,” InsideClimate News, 19 March 2013.http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130319/renewable energy standards target multi pronged attack2“The Biggest Fight Over Renewable Energy is Now in the States,” The Washington Post, 25 March 2013.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/25/the biggest fights over renewable energy arenow happening in the states/3“States Cooling to Renewable Energy,” The Wall Street Journal, 28 March 2013.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324373204578376840349947404.html4“U.S. States Turning Against Renewable Portfolio Standards as Gas Plunges” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 23 April2013. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013 04 22/u dot s dot states turn against renewable energy as gasplunges
    • There are currently 295states with an RPS policy on the books. Although each state with an RPS policyestablished it in a different political climate and existing energy portfolio, we consider the generalpurpose of an RPS to be to support new renewable energy generation, or, in some cases, to supportexisting renewable energy generation that might otherwise cease to operate. In other words, an RPS ismeant to maintain the baseline of renewables and then expand it, with the key words being “new” and“renewable.” There’s also an implied assumption of “need” (i.e., only supporting new renewablegeneration that would otherwise not be deployed), and that a resource represents a clearenvironmental benefit over the alternative. In practice, crafting RPS policy to serve these latter twogoals is a little dicey. The reality is that every established RPS policy has probably benefited somefacilities that would exist in its absence, and agreement on the environmental cost benefit ratio of someresources is difficult to come by. Having said that, the definition of what constitutes a new renewableresource is pretty intuitive, and while need and overall environmental benefit may be tougher to define,we often know them when we see them. That leaves us with a policy that, in theory, supportstechnologies such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, fuel cells, energy storage and other technologies,but leaves out traditional fossil fuels, legacy or high impact hydroelectric facilities, some biomass andbiomass related resources, and nuclear energy.This is not to say that there are not often other goals associated with an RPS, such as job creation,resource diversity, and pollution reduction. However, despite these other goals, an RPS is not in itself acomprehensive energy plan, an economic development plan or an air pollution reduction plan. Instead,by our definition, it simply seeks to support these secondary objectives by encouraging new renewableenergy generation as a primary objective. Our evaluation is done on the basis of how proposedlegislation advances this primary intent, rather than how it relates to other public policy goals, laudableas they may be. It is also worth noting that some bills propose dramatic changes for which the impactsare reasonably clear, while in other cases the implications are more nuanced. We have used our ownjudgment to separate high impact bills from those with only modest effects. All of this is to say thatclassifying RPS legislation is a subjective exercise and we expect that some may disagree with ourassessment.Based on this premise, we have divided 2013 RPS legislation into four broad categories. First, there areRPS strengthening bills that generally improve a state’s ability to further advance or better support therenewables industry. Second, there are RPS weakening bills that broadly hinder existing efforts orremove support for renewables. Third, there are study bills that examine the costs and/or benefits of astate’s existing RPS or potential amendments to that policy. Lastly, legislators have introduced morethan 40 bills this year that otherwise amend RPS policies, but do not significantly or clearly strengthen orweaken the RPS policy as a whole. Within the broad categories of strengthening and weakeninglegislation, we have further categorized bills based on the type of modifications proposed.5Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. http://dsireusa.org/ (Accessed 12 April 2013).
    • Weakening Categories1. Repeal: Completely removes an existing RPS policy from the statutes. We also use this term to referto the repeal of an existing carve out for specific resources such as solar or distributed generation.2. Freeze: Maintains an existing RPS at its current (or recent) level, in terms of percentage or capacity,but discontinues future requirements to increase the use of renewables.3. Hydro Water Down: Dilutes an existing RPS policy by allowing existing and/or larger hydroelectricfacilities that currently don’t qualify. Many of these bills have been introduced as thinly disguisedattempts to render an RPS policy ineffective by qualifying resources that already exist in utility portfoliosand minimizing opportunities for new renewables.4. Fossil Water Down: Dilutes an existing RPS by allowing certain fossil fuel facilities to qualify. Bothfossil water down bills in 2013 would allow natural gas, but in the past, there have also been efforts toallow certain coal facilities.5. Nuclear Water Down: Dilutes an existing RPS by allowing nuclear facilities to qualify.6. Other Water Down: Dilutes an existing RPS by allowing other resources not traditionally identified asrenewable (e.g., energy efficiency, municipal solid waste incineration) to qualify. With respect to energyefficiency, while some existing RPS policies include an energy efficiency component, and most wouldacknowledge that improving energy efficiency is an important part of a state’s overall energy strategy,allowing energy efficiency to qualify for an RPS without increasing or otherwise modifying the target cansignificantly reduce opportunities for renewables.7. Deceleration: Slows down an existing RPS compliance schedule by extending a compliance goal byseveral years.8. Exemption: Exempts certain utilities, energy suppliers, or a portion of a utility’s load from an existingRPS. In 2013, most such bills are modest in their proposed effects.9. Reduction: Reduces the overall renewable energy percentage or MW target of an existing RPS.10. Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP) or Penalty Reduction: Many states use ACPs or directpenalties for non compliance with an RPS. A reduction in the ACP level or penalties may reduce utilities’and suppliers’ likelihood of complying with an existing RPS, or reduce prices for renewable energycredits (RECs) below the level necessary to stimulate new investment.11. Cost Cap Restriction: Many existing RPS policies limit any resulting cost increases that are borne byratepayers. Caps vary in form and substance, but where they exist, they tend to be set at modest levels.Consequently, reductions in a cost cap or how the cap is applied to different customers or potential“costs” can hamper progress towards meeting RPS targets.12. Increased REC Lifetime: Such revisions may be used to mitigate volatility in REC markets, but inmany cases, they can have the effect of increasing long term REC supply and lowering the demand fornew renewables.13. Geographic Eligibility Expansion: Most states try to ensure that their RPS policies provide local andregional benefits (e.g., jobs, pollution reduction) by restricting the location of eligible renewables orrequiring generators to actually deliver renewable electricity into a state or region. While perhaps not aweakening provision in general, expanding the procurement area has the effect of decreasingopportunities for in state or in region renewables development by increasing the overall supply ofrenewables eligible for the RPS.
    • Strengthening Categories:Not surprisingly, RPS strengthening bills are for the most part exact opposites of RPS weakening bills.Here are the types of strengthening bills we’ve analyzed so far in 2013:1. Expansion: Adds further compliance years with higher percentage targets to an existing RPS withoutchanging the current targets.2. Establishment: Creates a new RPS, extends the standard to additional utilities, or establishes a newcarve out.3. Acceleration: Increases requirements under an existing RPS for some years, but does not change therequirement for the final year of the current policy.4. Fix: Addresses a major issue with an existing RPS that is intended to remedy problems hinderingachievement of the policy’s requirements, but does not fall into any other category.5. Increase: Increases the overall renewables requirement (%) of an existing RPS.6. ACP or Penalty Enhancement: Increases ACPs or penalties for noncompliance for an existing RPS.These can take the form of flat administrative fees or per MWh payments and penalties.7. Geographic Eligibility Restriction: Tightens the definition of facilities eligible to meet an existing RPSon the basis of location or electricity delivery requirements, creating better opportunities for “local”facilities. While the legality of explicit in state restrictions is questionable, many states have adoptedmeasures that accomplish similar goals without issue.8. Resource Eligibility Restriction: Tightens the definitions of renewable resources eligible to meet anexisting RPS.ResultsOf the RPS related bills introduced in state legislatures thus far in 2013, we classified 306bills asstrengthening bills and 31 bills as weakening bills. Eighteen states have introduced strengthening billsand 16 states have introduced weakening bills. Of these states, six states have introduced bothstrengthening and weakening legislation. Tables 1 and 2 reflect the number of bills introduced in eachstate that qualify as strengthening or weakening, respectively. Figure 1 shows where both strengtheningand weakening efforts are taking place, and Figure 2 shows which types of weakening efforts are takingplace in which states. Readers should note that the tables and figures do not address bills that weakenor strengthen existing voluntary renewable energy goals7(e.g., Virginia and Oklahoma), unless a billwould establish a mandatory RPS in place of an existing voluntary goal. Many bills address multiplecomponents of an RPS policy and fall into several sub categories, so the tallies below do not match thetotal number of bills analyzed. Appendices A and B list all strengthening and weakening legislationintroduced this session, along with a summary of each bill and its status in the legislature as of April 24,2013.6Duplicate and companion bills are counted as one bill in all tallies.7A Renewable Energy Goal differs from a Renewable Portfolio Standard in that a goal is not legally binding. RPSsare stated as requirements rather than voluntary goals and typically contain some form of explicit penalty or ACPin order to ensure compliance.
    • Table 1: Number of RPS Strengthening Bills, by TypeCO HI IA IL KY MA MD MI MN MO MT NJ NV NH NY PA TX WV TotalExpansion 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8Establishment 1 1 1 1 3 2 4 2 2 17Acceleration 1 1Fix 1 1 1 1 4Increase 1 1 1 2 5EnhancedACP/Penalty1 1 1 3GeographicEligibilityRestriction1 1 2ResourceEligibilityRestriction1 1 1 1 4Figure 1: 2013 RPS Strengthening and Weakening Legislation
    • Table 2: Number of RPS Weakening Bills, by TypeCA CT KS ME MD MN MO MT NC NM OH OR PA TX WA WI TotalRepeal 1 1 1 1 1 1 6Freeze 1 1Hydro WaterDown1 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 2 14Fossil Water Down 1 1 2Nuclear WaterDown1 1Other WaterDown1 1 1 3Deceleration 1 2 3Exemption 1 1Reduction 1 1 2GeographicEligibilityExpansion2 1 3ACP/PenaltyReduction1 1Increased RECLifetime1 1 2Cost CapRestriction1 1 2
    • Figure 2: Types of RPS Weakening Legislation Across the U.S. in 2013AnalysisOne of the most striking details above is the role that hydropower plays as a mechanism for weakeningan existing RPS. Legislative proposals that extend RPS eligibility to various sizes and ages of hydroelectricfacilities are not a new phenomenon, but this is clearly the most popular type of weakening bill thisyear. Half of the states with RPS weakening legislation brewing would extend eligibility to larger and/orolder hydro, accounting for a total of 14 out of the 31 weakening bills. We believe that there are anumber of reasons that legislators have taken this particular path. First, large amounts of hydropowergeneration are currently available in many of the states pursuing weakening legislation and it has theadvantage of being one of the least expensive electricity generation options available. Second, addingan additional resource to the RPS eligibility list has a superficially positive connotation (i.e., expandingopportunities), though it has the effect of reducing demand for new renewable energy facilities. Finally,and related to the second point, hydropower is classically identified as a renewable energy resource, soarguments for expanding its inclusion in a RPS sound a lot more rational than, for instance, adding
    • natural gas as renewable resource. In short, we chalk it up to expediency, public relations, andmarketing.On the other side of the coin, more than half of the strengthening bills fall into the establishmentcategory. In most cases, this is the establishment of a carve out within an existing RPS rather than anentirely new RPS policy, although the Kentucky and West Virginia bills would be new RPSestablishments. In addition, the Iowa bill more or less amounts to a new standard because the state’sinitial targets have already been met. Although the creation of a carve out reduces the standard forother renewables in some cases, we consider a resource carve out (e.g. for solar, distributed generation,or offshore wind) a strengthening measure even if it reduces opportunities for other renewablesbecause carve outs typically address resources that need a special boost or fulfill important policy goals.In this way, a carve out is usually a focused mechanism that addresses that thorny question of relative“need” and in doing so serves the overall purpose of an RPS.In comparing the relative numbers of weakening to strengthening bills, it is hard not to notice that theyare nearly equivalent in number as well as in the number of states in play. Considering the opposite of arepeal or freeze to be the establishment of a new standard or carve out, it is interesting to note thatestablishment bills (17) are more numerous than repeals and freezes (7) by a wide margin. Summing allof the very direct near term strengthening categories (establishment, increase, and acceleration) andcomparing it to the equivalent weakening measures (repeal, freeze, reduction, and deceleration) thestrengthening bills still outnumber the weakening bills 23 to 12. Adding in those efforts to expandexisting policies (8), which can be seen as affirming the place of an existing standard, and the marginbecomes greater still (31 to 12). The take away here is that while the bulk of strengthening bills aredirect in nature, weakening efforts have been somewhat more focused on more indirect measures suchas the inclusion of large hydropower (only 12 of the 31 weakening bills take a direct approach). Thissuggests to us that despite a certain amount of rhetoric to the contrary, most legislators would prefernot to take a direct anti renewables stance.Notwithstanding the level of positive activity described above, it would be misleading to fail to note thatour research indicates 2013 has seen more weakening efforts than previous years. By our count, 2011and 2012 saw approximately 60 major strengthening bills and 50 major weakening bills. Only fivesignificant water down bills in four states were enacted in 2011 and 2012, while six significantstrengthening measures found success. For the most part, 2013 weakening efforts are taking place inthe same states that they did in prior sessions. Of the 16 states in which weakening legislation has beenintroduced during 2013, all but three (Connecticut, Kansas, and Texas) have seen similar efforts duringthe past two years.Successful weakening bills were enacted in New Hampshire and Ohio in 2012, and in Delaware andWisconsin in 2011. New Hampshire’s legislation reduced ACP rates, most substantially for the solarcarve out. Ohio added certain waste energy and cogeneration to the list of eligible resources for itsrenewable energy standard. In addition, the state added any new, retrofitted, refueled, or repoweredgenerating facility to the advanced energy resources portion of the standard, which accounts for half of
    • Ohio’s RPS, though some may argue that the advanced energy portion of Ohio’s RPS may not have beenparticularly meaningful to renewables in the first place. Delaware’s 2011 legislation allowed fuel cellscapable of operating on renewables to be eligible for the RPS, but no longer required such projectsactually to use renewable energy, and also permits RECs from such facilities to be utilized (albeit at areduced rate) for solar carve out compliance. Lastly, Wisconsin’s 2011 bill added large hydro facilities aseligible for the standard, but not until after 2015.What does all of this mean? First, of the nine direct repeal efforts made during this two year timeperiod, none succeeded, which speaks to the challenge of actually repealing an RPS. Furthermore, someof these efforts are likely “statement” bills intended to spark a debate about the role of government, orto introduce a bargaining chip for less drastic changes. Second, some nuances in the enacted billssuggest that other forces beyond anti renewable sentiment were involved, or that near term impactswill be limited. For instance, the Delaware bill was orchestrated by a fuel cell manufacturer and itappears the solar carve out was simply a convenient target, while one of the most impactful Ohiochanges was directed at one specific large combined heat and power facility. Third, any enacted bill canbe the subject of subsequent retraction by future legislation. In fact, New Hampshire currently haslegislation that would restore the ACP for the solar carve out to its prior level. Finally, these set backs in2011 and 2012 were balanced by positive developments, including a major fix to New Jersey’s solarcarve out, the creation of Connecticut’s long term REC contracting programs, the enactment ofCalifornia’s 33% by 2020 standard, and a dramatic increase in the requirements under the District ofColumbia’s solar carve out. In our analysis, the strengthening effects far out weighed the weakening.Of course, that does not mean that efforts underway in 2013 (and perhaps in future years) can beignored. Thus far in 2013, there have been no successful repeal efforts, though a few states remain inthe balance. Of the direct repeal bills, North Carolina’s seemed the most likely to succeed as of earlyApril. . However, even after being backed down from a complete repeal of the RPS to a solar carve outrepeal and freeze the bill failed to pass the House Committee on Public Utilities and Energy on April 24th.Other bills, such as those in Kansas and Texas, have also effectively died, while still others remain underconsideration in committee. Among other potentially major weakening measures, two hydro waterdown bills in Montana have been sent to the Governor (though both have been amended sinceintroduction in ways that reduce their impact), while another hydro water down bill in Missouri haspassed one chamber of the legislature. Among strengthening bills, Maryland’s offshore wind carve outhas been enacted, while New Hampshire legislation restoring the solar ACP has passed the House.Beyond strengthening and weakening bills, one other aspect of current RPS legislation caught ourattention: the proliferation of study or review bills. We have identified nine bills in eight states (CA, KS,MD, MA, MT, NH, OH and VA) that would require studies of an existing state RPS (or the establishmentof a new RPS in the case of Virginia), or specific aspects of a state RPS. Generally, we consider these tobe positive developments, though sometimes study bills display ulterior motives, such as gatheringammunition to weaken RPS requirements further down the road. Whatever the motivation, no RPSpolicy is perfect and it is entirely reasonable for revisions to be contemplated from time to time. Thesechanges are best made after a balanced and thorough review of accomplishments, intent, costs and
    • benefits. Moreover, study requirements give us a preview of issues and changes that may appear beforethe legislature in subsequent sessions and ideally allow the various stakeholders an extendedopportunity to participate in policy formulation. Broad study bills have been proposed in California,Kansas, Massachusetts, Montana, Ohio, and Virginia. With respect to more focused efforts, anotherCalifornia bill proposed the investigation of a carve out for energy storage technologies; a Maryland billwould convene a task force to study the inclusion of thermal renewable energy resources in the RPS;and a New Hampshire bill would create a committee to study the state’s standard for existing biomassand biogas resource tier. The legislation in Montana8and Maryland has passed both chambers, the NewHampshire bill has passed the Senate, and both California bills have now been amended to focus moreon electricity reliability and resource diversification in general than RPS policy.ConclusionsAs a broad, long term policy mechanism for stimulating the growth of renewables, an RPS policy can beseen as a general indicator of a state’s support for renewable energy development. With more than adecade filled exclusively with new adoptions and expansions behind us, including the banner yearsrunning from roughly 2004 2008, we shouldn’t be too surprised when new adoptions slow. Moreover,as with any public policy, RPS policies will always have their critics and each new adoption presents anew target for repeal. From this perspective, the recent increase in RPS weakening efforts is, in a way,the product of past successes. The effect can be exacerbated by changes in the make up of individualstate legislatures, as some old proponents disappear, perhaps to be replaced by new opponents.Ultimately this means that the renewable energy community needs to be prepared to continually justifythe existence of an RPS to new policymakers, sometimes in the face of well organized oppositioncampaigns.That said, we dispute assertions that waning support for RPS policies is a national phenomenon, and webelieve the numbers back us up. It is true that in a few states, the legislative environment appears tohave turned less supportive in recent years, but few significant weakening provisions and no repeal billshave been enacted to date. While it is not beyond the realm of possibility that 2013 could see the firstcomplete RPS repeal and more than one significant weakening provision, weakening bills are balancedby an equivalent number of strengthening bills, in a few cases with dueling proposals in the same state.Most of the bills on either side of the divide will end up in the legislative cemetery, perhaps to rise againin future sessions. Such is the policymaking process. The current RPS policy landscape was not created ina day; no demise will succeed without a fight. We urge the renewable energy community to keep closetabs on the current slew of weakening bills, in part because some represent a real danger and in partbecause even those with little chance of passage this time around may appear again. However, we alsosuggest that angst be tempered with an acknowledgment that the historical record is overwhelmingly8The Montana provision is actually a joint resolution which requests but does not require an interim study, anddoes not have the force of law. After passing both houses, the resolution has been filed with the MontanaSecretary of State.
    • positive, and though it is clear that some new challenges exist, nothing suggests to us that enactmentsof RPS weakening legislation will be anything but piecemeal.Solar and Wind Policy Tracking Services from Keyes, Fox & Wiedman LLPKeyes, Fox & Wiedman LLP is focused on providing clients in the renewable energy and distributedgeneration sectors with expert and innovative solutions to their legal challenges.We now offer solar and wind policy tracking services to provide timely information about pendingregulations and open dockets (solar only), proposed legislation, and other initiatives. Topics include RPSpolicies and SRECS, net metering & interconnection, financial incentives, financing mechanisms, feed intariffs & reverse auction mechanisms, permitting & zoning, and more. For details and pricinginformation, contact Amanda Vanega at avanega@kfwlaw.com.
    • Appendix A: 2013 RPS Strengthening LegislationState BillNumberSummary Bill Status as of4/24/13CO SB252 As amended, expands the RPS for cooperatives with more than 100,000 retailcustomers from 10% by 2020 to 25% by 2020; applies the same standard togeneration and transmission cooperatives; increases the retail rate impact limit forcooperatives from 1% to 2%; and applies a 1% of retail sales DG carve out forcooperatives with less than 100,000 customers. Also allows coal mine methaneand gas generated through pyrolysis of municipal solid waste as eligible resources,if the PSC makes a determination that electricity generation from these resourcesis greenhouse gas neutral; generally removes in state preferences; and insteadapplies a 125% multiplier to all non retail DG resources that begin operation bythe end of 2014 and a 300% multiplier for solar resources under the standard forcooperatives and municipal utilities. The original bill also placed the 1% DG carveout requirement on municipal utilities covered by the standard, but this has beenremoved from the current version of the bill.Passed Senate;In HouseCommitteeHI HB757 Extends the RPS from the current level of 40% by 2030 to 70% by 2040 and 100%by 2050.CommitteeRecommendsDeferringIA HB313 Establishes solar goals of 12 MW by 2014; 47 MW by 2015; 105 MW by 2016; 185MW by 2017; and 300 MW by 2018. The IUB is directed to establish procedures toencourage utilities to achieve these goals. Note: This bill was not included in thetally of strengthening bills because it establishes a goal rather than a standard. Thesummary is included here only as a point of interest.InSubcommitteeIA SB315 Creates a farm based distributed generation carve out of 2% by 2018 for rateregulated utilities and includes biomass, solar and wind facilities at farms aseligible resources. Prescribes minimum amounts based on resource and facilitysize.InSubcommitteeIL HB2864;SB103Generally addresses significant issues with the current RPS related to retail electricchoice and customer switching. Directs the IPA to include RECs in procurementplans beginning 6/1/14; requires the IPA to use funds in the Renewable EnergyResources Fund to procure RECs until the funds have been depleted; and directsthe Planning and Procurement Bureau to develop procurement plans and conductcompetitive procurement process for RECs related to usage of non eligible retailcustomers in utility service areas as part of RPS. Also ends ACPs and renewablepurchase requirements for alternative retail suppliers effective May 31, 2014 andreplaces them with REC payments based on kWh usage.PassedCommitteeKY HB170 Creates an RPS with a solar carve out for retail electric suppliers. The targets areset at 2.25% renewables with 0.25% from solar in 2015; 5.5% renewables with0.5% from solar in 2018; 9.25% renewables with 0.75% from solar in 2021; and12.5% renewables with 1% from solar in 2023. Requires the PSC to develop tariffguidelines for purchasing renewable energy.In CommitteeMA HB2932 Expands the RPS by stating that the 1% annual increase scheduled to go onindefinitely ends 12/31/2014, and instead prescribes that renewables comprise anadditional 10 per cent of sales after this point.In Committee
    • MA HB2915 Requires electric distribution companies to purchase SRECs in the SRECClearinghouse Auction account that remain unsold after the final auction run at aratio equivalent to their percentage share of the prior years RPS complianceobligation. Purchases will take place at the auction fixed price unless the DOERestablishes a different price that is at least 90% of the fixed price by January 15 ofeach year.In CommitteeMD HB226;SB275Creates an offshore wind carve out for projects located 10 30 miles off the MDcoast on the Outer Continental Shelf (includes further requirements as well). Thecarve out will be determined by PSC, to start in 2017, but may not exceed 2.5% ofretail sales. The OREC price schedule must be approved by PSC on a projectspecific basis and may not exceed $190/MWh or last more than 20 years. Exemptsindustrial process load of more than 75 million kWh annually and agriculture loadof more than 3,000 kWh per month from the requirements.EnactedMD HB1102 Revises the definition of eligible Tier I biomass facilities to only include facilitiesthat began commercial operation after January 1, 2005 and achieve a total systemefficiency of 65% or greater. Any facility using qualifying biomass that does notmeet these requirements will be a Tier II facility. Disqualifies primarily existingblack liquor and wood waste facilities from being Tier I resources.UnfavorableReport byCommitteeMN HB880;SB763Accelerates the RPS benchmarks for utilities except Xcel Energy to 19% by 2016;22% by 2020; and 25% by 2025, while also extending the RPS for these utilities40% by 2030. Extends the RPS for Xcel to 35% by 2025 and 40% by 2030 andmodifies the existing wind carve out to be 20% by 2016, and 25% by 2020. Createsa solar energy standard with benchmarks in 2014, 2016, 2020, and 2025, leavespercentage requirements undetermined.In CommitteeMN HB773;SB680Omnibus Solar Jobs Act. Creates a solar requirement in addition to current RPSrequirements of 0.52% solar by 2016; 1.56% by 2020; 4.02% by 2025; and 10.06%by 2030.In CommitteeMN SB901 As amended, establishes a solar standard of 0.25% in 2016; 1% by 2020; and 2% by2025 for municipal utilities and electric cooperatives. Establishes a solar standardof 0.5% by 2016, 2% by 2020, and 4% by 2025 for public utilities. The requirementsare in addition to the current RPS requirements.PassedCommitteewithAmendmentsMN HB956 As amended, establishes a solar standard of 0.5% by 2016; 2% by 2020; and 4% by2025 for public utilities in addition to current RPS requirements. Also expands thecurrent standard to 40% by 2030 for public utilities. One prior version would haveestablished solar requirements for all utilities.In CommitteeMI SB322 Increases the RPS from 10% by 2015 to 22% by 2022. In CommitteeMO SB396 Originally rescinded apparent solar carve out exemption for one utility (EmpireDistrict Electric), but as amended, this section has been removed.PassedCommittee;Scheduled forSenate HearingMO SB400 Restricts eligibility to resources that produce electricity that is sold to Missourielectric customers; rescinds apparent solar carve out exemption for one utility(Empire District Electric); and restricts hydropower qualification to facilities with acombined rating of 10 MW per facility.In CommitteeMT SB125 Governor’s suggested amendments increased sets the penalty at $10,000/MW.Previously would have raised penalties for failure to meet RPS requirements,adding a $1,000 penalty for each MW of capacity that the utility fails to purchaseunder the carve out for community based resources. This operates in addition tothe $10/REC penalty currently in place and is retroactive to the compliance yearbeginning 1/1/2012.Governorreturned withamendments
    • NJ SB2700 No bill text available: “Expands State’s energy efficiency and renewable energyrequirements.”FiledNV SB252 As amended, removes energy efficiency resources placed in service in 2020 orlater as eligible for the standard, and restricts the use of energy efficiency to meetthe standard to no more than 25% for 2013 and 2014; 20% for 2015 – 2019; 10%for 2020 – 2024; and eliminates its use in 2025 and thereafter. It also modifies theallowance for utilities to carry forward of excess credits to future years, andrestricts the 2.4 credit multiplier for customer sited solar to systems installedbefore July 1, 2014. This bill has been amended significantly since its introduction,most notably by the removal of a section increasing the RPS requirement from25% to 35% by 2025 and accelerating the interim requirements beginning in 2014.Passed Senate;Sent to HouseNH HB542 Raises ACP for all classes of renewables, including significant increases for Class Inon thermal resources and the solar carve out.Hearing inSenateCommitteeCompletedNH SB148 Lowers the percentage requirements for 2013 and 2014 and raises ACP for Class IIIrenewables (existing biomass) in certain years. Changes ACP calculation for Class IIIin all years, pending the findings of a study committee. Adds municipal wastecombustion less than 6 MW in capacity to eligible Class III resources, as long as thetechnology meets certain emission standards. Establishes an RPS study committeeto analyze the Class III standard, ACP rates and shortfalls.CommitteeWork SessionScheduled for5/1/2013NY AB1273 Creates a distributed generation (1 kW 10 MW) target based on long term (15yr.) REC or FIT contracts of 0.85% retail sales by 2028 for IOUs and energysuppliers; and 4.5% of retail sales by 2028 for the NYPA and LIPA. Complianceramps up annually beginning in 2015 (0.05% for IOUs/suppliers and 0.25% for LIPAand NYPA). Also creates a carve out of 25% of the standard for behind the metersystems of 100 kW or less and limits ownership of resources to NY residents, LLCswith a majority of NY state residents as members, and NY registered non profits.Expands the broad current RPS target from 30% by 2015 to 35% by 2028 as well.In CommitteeNY AB2428 Creates a statutory RPS for all retail electricity providers beginning at 0.5% in July2015, increasing at 0.5% annually up to 6% and then increasing 1% annuallythereafter up to a minimum of 10%. The current RPS was established by regulationunder a somewhat unique centralized structure and does not apply to directly toretail electricity providers. (Similar to AB1938)In CommitteeNY AB1938 Large, multi topic bill. Legislatively establishes a minimum 10% RPS for retailelectric providers beginning at 0.5% in July 2014, increasing at 0.5% annually up to6% and then increasing 1% annually thereafter. It also applies this standard to theLong Island Power Authority (LIPA). The current RPS was established by regulationunder a somewhat unique centralized structure and does not apply to directly toretail electricity providers or LIPA. (Similar to AB2428).In CommitteeNY AB1375;SB1627Creates a "pilot" program intended to support up to 300 MW of new, in staterenewable generation. Allows utility owned generation, utility/IPP partnerships,and customer owned generation to qualify for meeting the pilot programrequirements.In CommitteePA HB100 Amends the current RPS for Tier I resources to increase it beginning in 2018 andexpand it to 15% by 2023 (currently 8% by 2021). Also increases the PV carve outto 0.1959% in 2014 (currently 0.0840%) and then gradually to 1.5% by 2023(currently 0.5% by 2021). Modifies the current floating ACP for PV resources topre defined levels of $250/MWh in 2014, decreasing to $50/MWh in 2022 andthereafter, and includes an effective in state geographic eligibility requirement forany PV facility registered after the effective date of the enactment.In Committee
    • TX HB303 Mandates that at least 2% of RPS renewable energy generation requirement comefrom solar energy technology and modifies the overall target from 5,580 MW by2015 to 35% of in state generating capacity by 2020.In CommitteeTX HB723 Separates out renewable energy facilities into Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities, withseparate RPS goals and metrics. Tier 1 resources are defined as derived from thesun or water, and the target is set at 100 MW in 2014, increasing to 1,500 MW by2022. Tier 2 is defined as from wind with a capacity greater than 150 kW, and theoverall target of 5,580 MW is maintained for this tier.Left inCommitteeTX HB3583 Requires 10,880 MW of in state renewable energy generating capacity by 2022, ofwhich 5,000 MW must be renewable energy technology capable of serving peakdemand. Peak demand renewable energy capacity is defined as technology that:(1) may be dispatched by the operator regardless of environmental or weatherconditions; or (2) during the preceding year, provided energy at a capacity factorof at least 40 percent between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. in June, July, August, andSeptember.In CommitteeWV HB2141 Establishes a mandatory RPS of 5% renewables in 2015, increasing to 15% by 2025and each year thereafter. Eligible technologies include biomass, geothermal, solar,wind, and low impact hydro of less than 20 MW, but not the variety of other fossilbased resources currently eligible under the state’s Alternative Energy andRenewable Energy Standard.In CommitteeWV HB3080 Establishes a mandatory solar carve out within the current Alternative Energy andRenewable Energy Standard of 2% by 2025, part of which must be met withdistributed solar at varying levels during different time periods.In Committee
    • Appendix B: 2013 RPS Weakening LegislationState BillNumberSummary Bill Status as of4/24/13CA AB762 Allows hydropower of any size that meets certain requirements to be eligible forthe RPS.In CommitteeCT HB5475 Decelerates the RPS compliance schedule as follows: The 2016 deadline isextended to 2017; the 2017 deadline is extended to 2019; the 2018 deadline isextended to 2021; the 2019 deadline is extended to 2023; and the 2020deadline is extended to 2025.In CommitteeCT HB6086 Expands definition of eligible renewable resources to include all types and sizesof hydropower as a Class I renewable energy source. Class I hydropowerresources are currently limited to run of river facilities of 5 MW or less.In CommitteeCT HB6532 Reduces ACPs from 5.5 cents to 3.1 for Class I resources; extends the life of RECsto 3 years; and expands the geographic eligibility of resources to include theentire mid Atlantic region if PURA deems these states have comparable RPSpolicies.Public HearingCompletedCT SB1138 Amends the RPS by including hydropower as a new sub tier to Class I resources(Class IA) without any size or other significant limiting criteria. Extends the ClassI target from 20% by 2020 to 25% by 2025, but allows up to 7.5% to be met withClass IA resources in 2025. Also includes other resource definition changes,including increasing the maximum capacity for run of river hydropower facilitiesfrom 5 MW to 30 MW, and making detailed changes to biomass definitions.PassedCommitteeKS SB82 Decelerates the RPS by extending the 2016 target to 2018 and the 2020 targetto 2024. Also amends cost cap restrictions to provide greater detail on costs tobe evaluated and permits a waiver of requirements if any a renewable energyinvestment increase costs by more than 1% over a prudent non renewableinvestment, in addition to the current overall utility revenue increase cap of 1%.Failed to PassKS HB2241 Deletes the current 20% by 2020 RPS target and decelerates the remainingtarget by moving the 15% compliance requirement from 2016 to 2018.In CommitteeME SB237 Removes the 100 MW facility size limit that exists for all RPS resources exceptfor wind. Though it is not hydropower specific, it would potentially allowsignificant large hydropower resources to qualify for the standard.In CommitteeMD SB974 Repeals the solar carve out of the state RPS. HearingCompletedMD SB976 Expands the definition of Tier 1 renewable resources to include natural gas infacilities that were previously powered by coal combustion or replaces a coalgenerated electric facility.HearingCompletedMN HB306;SB97Repeals the renewable energy standard. In CommitteeMN HB1640;SB1488Eliminates the current 100 MW maximum capacity limits for hydropowerresources eligible for the RPS.In CommitteeMO HB44 Allows all hydropower resources located in Missouri, owned by a Missouri utilityor for which a power purchase agreement exists with a Missouri utility obligatedto comply with the RPS, to qualify as eligible renewable resources beginning in2018. Also extends eligibility to all hydropower resources in 2021. Hydropowerresources are currently limited to 10 MW in capacity and may not require newdiversions or impoundments.SenateCommitteeHearing Held
    • MT SB31 As amended, allows new hydropower of any size except for federal hydropowerprojects located in another state, and retains limitations on existing hydropowerprojects. Allows expansions of existing hydro completed on or after December31, 2010 to be eligible as well. This bill formerly revised definition of eligiblerenewable resource to include new and existing hydroelectric resources andremoved nameplate capacity limits on hydro resources. Note: A cross tied bill(SB 45, now on the Governor’s desk) allows expansions of existing hydrocompleted or after the effective date of that bill. If both bills are enacted, the lawwill include the SB 45 language.Sent toGovernorMT SB45 Expands RPS eligibility to 1) include expansions of existing hydropowerresources that increase the facility’s generating capacity, with constructioncommencing on or after the effective date of the act and 2) hydropower thatcommences commercial operation in Montana on or after 1/1/2013. Federalhydropower projects located in or outside of Montana are not eligible. Forexpansion projects, estimates of the average incremental generation from theincrease in existing generation capacity will be used to determine the eligiblerenewable resource.HouseConcurredwithGovernor’sAmendments;in SenateNC HB298;SB365As amended in the House, repeals the solar carve out; freezes the standard at6% by 2015 (through 2018); allows hydropower facilities of any size to qualify(currently limited to 10 MW); increases the amount of the standard that can bemet with energy efficiency from 25% to 50%; and freezes the swine wasterequirement in 2015 (through 2018). As introduced, this bill proposed a fullrepeal of the RPS.Failed to PassCommitteeNM HB266 Makes changes to the cost caps associated with the RPS, effectively lowering thecurrent cost cap from 3% to 2% of a customers annual electric charges, andapplying maximum dollar amount caps to all customers instead of onlygovernment customers.In CommitteeOH SB34 Repeals the alternative energy and renewable energy portfolio standards. In CommitteeOR SB121 Removes age restrictions for hydropower facilities for the purposes of RPSqualification. The current restrictions on hydropower are fairly detailed as theyapply to different facilities, but only include limited amounts of hydropowercapacity placed in service prior to 1995.In CommitteeOR HB2713 Permits any electricity produced from a hydropower facility located on portionsof the Columbia River that abut Oregon to be eligible for the RPS, with no facilityage or size limitations. Only the portion of electricity used in Oregon may beeligible. The current restrictions on hydropower are fairly detailed as they applyto different facilities, but only include limited amounts of hydropower capacityplaced in service prior to 1995.In CommitteeOR HB2925 Allows any hydropower facility to qualify for the RPS, regardless of age or size.The current restrictions on hydropower are fairly detailed as they apply todifferent facilities, but only include limited amounts of hydropower capacityplaced in service prior to 1995.In CommitteeOR HB2792 Repeals the RPS, though it replaces it with more broadly applicable tax oncarbon based fuels and electricity production.Public HearingCompletedPA HB1151 Amends the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard to allow existing MSWconnected to the PA distribution grid to qualify as a Tier I resource. Currently allqualifying MSW is considered a Tier II resource. Excludes one specific facility.In CommitteePA HB1073 Amends the RPS to include natural gas as a Tier 1 resource. In CommitteeTX HB2026 Eliminates the RPS and related provisions. Left inCommittee
    • WA HJR4200 Amends the state constitution to require hydroelectricity to be recognized as arenewable energy resource. Such a change would presumably allow allhydropower regardless of age or size to qualify for the RPS. Currently onlyincremental energy produced by efficiency improvements completed afterMarch 31, 1999 at existing hydropower facilities owned by a utility is permittedto qualify for the RPS.In CommitteeonEnvironmentWA SB5412 Allows energy from efficiency improvements made after March 31, 1999 toBonneville Power Authority hydropower facilities to qualify under RPS, based ona utility’s proportionate “share” of the incremental generation. Currently onlyincremental energy produced by efficiency improvements completed afterMarch 31, 1999 at existing hydropower facilities owned by a utility is permittedto qualify for the RPS.No ActionTaken byCommitteeWA SB5648 Allows utilities to use energy conservation in excess of their separate energyefficiency requirements to count toward renewable energy targets. Utilities areonly permitted to exercise this option once.Failed to PassWA SB5400 Allows a utility that operates outside of Washington (PacifiCorp) to use out ofstate non hydropower resources that it owns or has long term PPAs with tocomply with the RPS.Sent toGovernorWI AB34 Allows in state nuclear energy to be eligible for the state RPS. Nuclear electricitymay not be used to comply with the standard if the electricity is subject to a PPAentered into before the effective date of the bill. Also eliminates the 4 yearlifetime for RECs.In CommitteeWI SB47 Freezes the RPS at the 2011 level (i.e., must be 2% above 2010 levels). In Committee