California charts a renewables course through 2030


On February 13, the CPUC issued a decision adopting IRP requirements and a statewide Reference System Plan (RSP), akin to a statewide IRP. The decision sets the course for California electricity policy over the next 12 years, through 2030. Notably, while neither the RSP nor the decision establish new RPS targets or specifically require additional renewables procurement, the decision notes that the modeling results indicate that by 2030, renewables will comprise 53% to 57% of the state’s electricity supply, whereas the present RPS has a target of 50% by 2030. The least-cost modeling associated with achieving this target forecasts the addition of the following resources by 2030, at an annual incremental cost of $239 million:

  • 200 MW of geothermal resources
  • Approximately 9 GW of utility-scale solar
  • 1.1 GW of in-state wind
  • 2 GW of battery storage, beyond the existing 1,325 MW state energy storage target (some of this could be displaced by advanced demand response or pumped storage)

Any load-serving entity proposing to develop new natural gas resources or re-contract with existing natural gas resources for a period of five or more years must justify why another lower-emitting resource could not be used to meet the identified need.