The California Public Utilities Commission has announced that its Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) program remains ahead of the state’s ambitious target and is helping to drive down renewable contract prices. In its annual renewables compliance report to the state, the legislature stated that:

1. Most of the retail sellers procured at or above the 27% RPS annual target for 2017.

2. The large investor-owned utilities (IOUs) have executed renewable electricity contracts necessary to meet the 33% RPS requirements by 2020 and forecast reaching 50% by 2020.

3. The Small and Multi-Jurisdictional Utilities (SMJUs), Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs), and Electric Service Providers (ESPs) report compliance with current RPS requirements and forecast that they will meet the future RPS requirement in 2020 with additional procurement.

4. In 2017, an average of 74% of IOU, SMJU, and CCA renewable portfolios were solar and wind resources. Biopower, geothermal, and small hydroelectric each also contribute an average of 8%.

5. RPS contract prices dropped an average of 9.5% per year between 2007 and 2015.

6. In 2016, average contract prices spiked due to mandated high fire hazard zone biomass procurement.

7. In 2017, the trend of falling contract costs resumed and reached a historic low price of $47/MWh for average annual RPS eligible energy contracts for all technology types.

California’s RPS program is jointly implemented by the commission and the California Energy Commission. The RPS program requires the state’s large investor-owned utilities, small and multi-jurisdictional utilities, community choice aggregators, electric service providers, and publicly-owned utilities to procure 60% of their total electricity retail sales from renewable energy resources by 2030. Re California Renewables Portfolio Standard Annual Report, Nov. 1, 2018 (Cal.P.U.C.).

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