SB 350 Legislative Counsel’s Digest

By Marcy Berry : nine-county-coalition – excerpt

Regional Power Grid to Keep an Eye On

…“This bill would require that the amount of electricity generated and sold to retail customers per year from eligible renewable energy resources be increased to 50% by December 31, 2030, as provided. The bill would make other revisions to the RPS [Renewable Portfolio Standards] Program and to certain other requirements on public utilities and publicly owned electric utilities.”

“Because certain of the above provisions are codified in the Public Utilities Act, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the definition of a crime or establishing a new crime.”

“This bill would provide for the transformation of the ISO [Independent System Operator] into a regional organization, with the approval of the Legislature, pursuant to a specified process.”…

The Multi-State Power Grid

The mandates of SB 350 are ambitious and extensive. However, the game changer appears to be the transformation of the ISO into a regional organization…

The Morning After – Things Get Difficult

PacifiCorp, owned by Warren Buffett, is a major player in the regional plan, and operates coal-fired power plants in Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington State, and Wyoming.  Therefore, concerns have been raised about “dirty” energy.

SB 350 and CA ISO view grid integration with neighboring states as expanding California’s grid, which would mean other states accepting California’s numerous environmental and other rules.  Whether neighboring states would also embrace such view is now questionable.  California might face the necessity of losing some of its autonomy and beloved rules in order to implement a regional grid…

On December 15, 2016, the Imperial Irrigation System filed in the Superior Court of Alameda a petition for writ of mandate to obtain records from the University of California at Berkeley on studies UC supplied to the California Legislature.  The point of the lawsuit is that the studies may not have been all that objective, and that the CA ISO was supposed to operate as a non-profit (Warren Buffet’s PacifiCorp hardly qualifies)….(more)

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