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CEC Throws Out Edison’s Claim to RECs from Mountain View Wind Projects

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has ruled 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 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals during the period covered by the 2006 RPS verification report, reports the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS).

CRS says the decision is a major step in upholding the integrity of markets for renewable energy by preventing a double counting of those RECs.

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, explains CRS.

However, the contracts gave all renewable attributes to the facilities’ owner, which sold RECs to various voluntary market participants starting in 2004, says CRS.

SCE, a utility subject to the California RPS, had been applying its purchases of electricity from the 67-megawatt (MW) Mountain View facilities in San Gorgonio Pass, Calif., toward its RPS requirements since 2004.

CRS testified in the CEC proceeding that the RECs in question were the property of other purchasers. CRS documented over 1.2 million MWH of REC transactions from 2004 to 2007, involving two dozen wholesale marketers and utilities and more than 70,000 retail customers.

The California Public Utilities Commission will determine if a shortfall in Edison’s allowed renewable energy might require remedial action or penalties. The utility may be able to avoid financial penalties by banking over purchases from other years, or applying future purchases to meet the gap in the period in question, says CRS.

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

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2 thoughts on “CEC Throws Out Edison’s Claim to RECs from Mountain View Wind Projects

  1. One quick solution for SCE is to quickly bring their homeowner PV incentive up from the ridiculously low $1.55/watt AC today to something in the range of $5/watt AC. This would stimulate the PV market within their service area making the real-world payback for SCE customers a financially viable five to seven years instead of the current 30+.

    However, a little oversight would be required to confirm local PV installers aren’t immediately ratcheting up their price-per-watt AC installed to skim off the incentive!

    SCE is clearly in a bind of their own doing. Time to step up to the plate and get serious on the “million rooftop” campaign. Distributed PV in the SCE service area would solve a great many reliability, availability, RPS, environmental, and employment issues at once.

    Jack Pouchet

  2. Trouble is Jack that (currently) the embedded carbon in solar PV cells means that you dont get carbon pay back for at least 5 years. You have, as usual, hit the nail on the head – PV depends 100% on subsidy and the present technology will always do so. However to improve the technology we have to go thru this hard time.

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