Posted by: jbarnesca | September 1, 2012

No 2012 SCE RPS Solicitation?

In the 2012 RPS (Renewables Portfolio Standard) Procurement Plan of SCE filed on August 15 they stated that they will not hold an RPS solicitation in 2012.  This is in keeping with the stance of the big three Utilities that they have met their obligations well into 2016, and any shortage that develops would be taken care of by the smaller renewable energy programs already in place.

This movement to delay any further large-scale RPS solicitations until after the Investment Tax Credit allowance expires in 2016 severely limits the amount of solar purchased for the next forseeable period.

In that plan filing SCE also had stated that there is a focus in California policy on smaller renewable energy programs such as the 399,20 Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program that is being extended through SB 32.  Note that the RAM program had four bidding periods with the last one to occur in approximately May of next year.  It is not obvious that there is any motion to extend that program, so the largest running programs are the ~50MW per year IPP portions of the PG&E and SCE Utility programs that have also three more remaining solicitation periods in 2013-2015.

There is some push back to this desire of SCE/PG&E/SDG&E by other groups that proposes that additional procurement should be made before the 2016 time frame to assure the lowest cost to their ratepayers.  However, I would expect that as usual SCE will prevail in what they want with the CPUC.



  1. Hello John,

    What do you mean by the term “RPS solicitation”? Do you mean they will not hold RAM solicitations? and what is IPP?

    Thank you.

    • Joia,
      The RPS(renewable portfolio standard state goals) solicitation was used in the past to satisfy the RPS goals of the utilities with larger projects. Wind, Solar, Geothermal et. al. The RAM program is a newer program used for smaller projects(<20MW) that had a two year period of operation. The final offering is approximately next May 2013. The second offering period was this past May and winners are now known.

      An additional program was the Indepenent Power Producer solar programs of the big three that are allocated once a year for a five year period. That was 250MW for SCE and PG&E, and thus ~50MW each year of the program. They were originally doing and additional 250MW of solar that they owned themselves, but that has changed at least for SCE.

      • Thank you very much John. I was trying to see how the “RPS Solicitation” fit into DG for CA (I’m looking over IREC’s recent report on DG in CA). I see now that RPS Solicitation is not DG because those projects are a larger than DG projects. Thanks again,

  2. Hi John, RESOLUTION E-4489 of April 19, 2012 [Appendix B – 2.a.iv] says that there will be two auctions per year, every six months. However, it looks as though no auction would be taking place in November 2012 for the third bid of the program. You take it for granted. Why is there not a RAM auction planned this fall as determined in RAM process rules?

    Thanks and best regards,

    • I believe that the change in the PPA agrement for the RAM program, that has been in active discussion for some months, has effectively delayed the next RAM auction. The utilities were allowed to make “adjustments” in the program after their experience for the first two auctions; however, the changes in the PPA have been fought by lobbying groups for some months.

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