CPUC orders Utilities to buy power from Small Energy Generators

Morrison and Foerster has issued a client alert that outlines a recent CPUC rule that ordered three investor owned utilities (IOUs) to buy 1,000 megawatts of distributed power generated by small renewable energy firms (1-20 MWatt generators) by a reverse auction process.   The small firms have to be in the process of applying for an interconnect agreement from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and must have completed studies as part of their application.

California is offering another opportunity for renewable energy developers to participate in the state’s electricity market. On August 18, the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) adopted rules for the Renewable Auction Mechanism (“RAM”) program1, which enables smaller projects to sell power to the state’s largest electric utilities. Developers of renewable energy projects up to 20 megawatts should familiarize themselves with the new rules. To participate in the first RAM auction this fall, developers should also be aware that they will need to have made substantial progress with the California Independent System Operator (“CAISO”), an organization whose processes can be difficult to navigate.

The complete client alert is available at the MoFo site or at this link:  http://www.mofo.com/files/Uploads/Images/110825-Reverse-Auctions-Energy.pdf