Already a leader among states in the adoption of green power policies, the Golden State has set its site on a new, more ambitious set of standards. Even in a state like California, raising the bar for clean energy is anything but a sure thing, as several ambitious bills failed in the closing days of the state legislature.
A number of bills did not make it out of the state house, as lawmakers drew their deliberations to a close for the year. SB 100 (De Leon) would have increased the state's renewable portfolio standard to 100 percent by the year 2045, making California the second state to do so, after Hawaii. The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy.
Two other bills, AB 726 (Holden) and AB 813 (Holden), which would have set the stage for California to participate in a regional power grid, also did not pass.
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown and others want to expand California's energy market into neighboring states. They argue that creating greater markets to sell and buy renewable power will help stabilize the grid and lower prices. Opponents fear that an expended, western regional grid could jeopardize California's control over its own market.
While some bills did not pass scrutiny, others whizzed by to the governor's desk. Most important, the legislature passed SB 801 (Stern) which will expand storage capacity in Southern California. The bill would require the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to support deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs) and energy storage and reduce the region’s reliance on gas-fired generation. The bill also would require the LADWP to develop up to 100 megawatts of alternative energy storage.
Also on the storage front, the legislature passed AB 546 (Chiu), which is intended to streamline the approval process for new storage installations.
Approved legislation now sits on Gov. Brown's desk awaiting his signature.