New law — more clean local energy for CA - Clean Coalition

New law — more clean local energy for CA

SB 1332 and SB 1122 both mark important victories in the ongoing transition towards clean local energy in California.

Craig Lewis

The Clean Coalition is thrilled to announce that Senate Bill (SB) 1332 was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 27, representing a significant legislative victory for clean local energy in California. SB 1332 – introduced by Gloria Negrete McLeod of Chino, CA and sponsored by the Clean Coalition – requires California’s larger Publicly Owned Utilities (POUs) to launch SB 32 Clean Local Energy Accessible Now (CLEAN) Programs by July 1, 2013, and the law ensures that an additional 100-250 megawatts (MW) of local renewable energy will soon come online in California.

Importantly, SB 1332 also recognizes the benefits of generating energy close to load. The law directs POUs to consider locational and environmental benefits in their SB 32 pricing, much like Palo Alto CLEAN has done, where clean local energy is shown to avoid more than 3 cents/kWh in transmission-related costs.

SB 1332 will build upon the success of existing CLEAN Programs, like the one at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). SMUD has clearly demonstrated that a well-designed program brings local renewable generation online quickly and cost-effectively. SMUD’s CLEAN Program has resulted in 100 MW of local solar deployments, which is equivalent to2.5 gigawatts of local solar if extended across the State of California. Additionally, SMUD is procuring this local solar energy at prices that do not raise the rates of its customers.

To help utilities be efficient in assessing, designing, and implementing CLEAN Programs, the Clean Coalition developed the Local CLEAN Program Guide, which can befreely downloaded from the Clean Coalition website. Extended support is also available to help California’s POUs develop effective CLEAN Programs over the coming months.

The Clean Coalition is pleased to report a second legislative success in the passage of SB 1122, which requires the three major investor owned utilities to create an additional 250 MW of capacity for biopower projects in their SB 32 CLEAN Programs. Biopower has been drastically hampered by poor policy design across the United States, including in California, and the Clean Coalition was part of the core alliance that crafted and supported this promising legislation. Policy innovation is the pathway to jump-starting biopower, and SB 1122, in concert with interconnection reform, has the potential to finally unleash biopower in California.

SB 1332 and SB 1122 both mark important victories in the ongoing transition towards clean local energy in California. As the state continues to struggle with the huge costs and enormous risks posed by the San Onofre nuclear plant, and transmission-dependent, central generation in general, clean local energy provides a superior path forward. Arecent Huffington Post op-ed– authored by Bill Ritter Jr., Governor of Colorado from 2007 to 2011, and Craig Lewis, Executive Director of the Clean Coalition – lays out a strong plan to solve California’s ongoing nuclear dilemma.

In addition to reducing reliance on expensive and dangerous nuclear power plants, transitioning to clean local energy will also enhance the security and reliability of the grid. R. James Woolsey, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Craig Lewis have explained how the Clean Coalition’s initiative to integrate clean local energy with intelligent grid solutions will helpsecure the nation’s power grid.

Craig Lewis

Founder and Executive Director

Craig founded the Clean Coalition in 2009 and has over 30 years of experience in policy and technology innovation, including the proliferation of Solar Microgrids and Community Microgrids. Prior to founding the Clean Coalition, Craig held numerous positions in the wireless, semiconductor, banking, and renewable energy industries. Previously VP of Government Relations at GreenVolts, he was the first to successfully navigate a solar project through California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard solicitation process. Craig was energy policy lead on Steve Westly’s 2006 California gubernatorial campaign. His resume includes senior government relations, corporate development, and marketing positions at leading wireless, semiconductor, and banking companies such as Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Barclays Bank. Craig received an MBA and MSEE from the University of Southern California and a BSEE from the University of California, Berkeley.