Oregon regulators approve public solar deals

SALEM, OREGON - Oregon regulators have given approval to deals that help cities, counties and other public entities develop solar energy projects.

The three-way arrangements involve utility companies, energy developers and public bodies.

The upshot is that the public agencies can do things like set up solar panels at water plants and also get the benefit of tax breaks that public agencies normally couldn't get.

PacifiCorp had questioned such deals.

But the Oregon Public Utility Commission said that such deals aren't in conflict with state laws or regulation. And, the commissioners say, the deals are consistent with the Legislature's interest in developing alternate energy.

California Public Utilities Commission sets energy-efficiency targets Sacramento Business Journal In a series of decisions, the California Public Utilities Commission set energy savings goals for energy efficiency, approved several renewable-energy contracts, and laid out a timetable for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to introduce new dynamic pricing rates for customers. The CPUC set interim electricity and natural gas savings goals for 2012 through 2020 for the stateÂ’s investor-owned utilities, including PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison.

For 2012 through 2020, total energy savings are expected to reach more than 4,500 megawatts, the equivalent of nine major power plants, the CPUC said. Further, the CPUC expects savings of more than 16,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity and 620 million therms of natural gas over that period.

“Energy efficiency is the state’s preferred way to meet our growing energy needs, as outlined in our Energy Action Plan,” CPUC president Michael Peevey said in a prepared statement. “California has one of the most aggressive energy efficiency plans in the nation and today’s decision improves those efforts to reflect a coordinated and comprehensive approach towards energy efficiency in order to maximize savings in the coming years.”

The decision released today modifies how the CPUC sets energy savings goals and adopts a new approach known as a total market gross basis, which encompasses not just savings expected from utility programs, but also savings from other critical activities such as state building standards, federal appliance standards, our Big Bold Energy Efficiency Strategies, and from Assembly Bill 1109, the Huffman bill requiring improvement in general service lighting, the CPUC said.

The targets adopted today will be updated in 2010, while the interim goals adopted by the PUC will be used by the California Air Resources Board as it implements AB 32, the stateÂ’s Global Warming Solutions Act.

The CPUC also approved three renewable-energy contracts for PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison, including PG&EÂ’s contract with Wadham Energy LP for a 26-megawatt biomass plant in Colusa County.


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