California Senate Approves 33% RPS Measure

California’s Senate on Thursday voted 26-11 to require the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to get 33% of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020—up from the 20% currently required. The bill, whose increased renewable portfolio standard (RPS) was set by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a 2009 executive order, now goes to the Assembly, where it is expected to pass.

California’s Legislature last year failed to pass a similar measure. The bill passed the Assembly, but the state Senate ran out of time before the deadline to vote when the legislative session ended in August.

California’s three IOUs—Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)—together provide 68% of the state’s power retail sales. In 2009, the IOUs collectively served 15.4% of their 2009 electric load with renewable energy, up from 13% in 2008. PG&E served 14.4% of its 2009 load with RPS-eligible renewable energy, SCE with 17.4%, and SDG&E with 10.5%. RPS percentages for 2010 are expected to be announced sometime this week, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) told POWERnews.

Sources: POWERnews CPUC, California Senate

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