California Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 7 signed into law Senate Bill 350, The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, at a ceremony in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park.
Geisha Williams, president of PG&E Electric, joined the governor and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon at the event in support of the bill’s goals. The new law increases the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030, and doubles the state energy efficiency targets. The bill supports the governor’s April executive order setting a new goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% elow 1990 levels by 2030.
“California was built by pioneers, so it is fitting that our state once again charts the path for generations to come. We stand ready to help deliver additional renewable energy and energy efficiency in a way that manages costs for our customers, ensures the safety and reliability that they expect and deserve, and creates a model program for other states and nations to follow,” said Williams in an Oct. 7 statement.
PG&E noted that it is already among the nation’s cleanest energy providers. More than 55% of the electricity the utility delivers to its customers comes from renewable or greenhouse gas-free resources. Since the first RPS legislation in 2002, PG&E has made significant contributions to the state’s progress and is on track to meet the current renewable energy mandate of 33% by 2020 ahead of schedule.
PG&E supported SB 350 and said it appreciates the flexibility the new law provides on banking of excess renewable procurement, which will provide for greater opportunities to secure the best renewable energy pricing available on the market for utility customers.
Pacific Gas and Electric, a subsidiary of PG&E Corp. (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California.
California Independent System Operator President and CEO Steve Berberich said in an Oct. 7 statement: “The ISO applauds the Governor for signing this landmark legislation that will lead to higher use of clean energy resources and paves the way for expanding the electricity grid throughout western states. A multi-state western grid will foster improved coordination over a larger geographic footprint, which is key in using renewable energy to meet consumer demand more efficiently at a lower cost.”
The new law requires California to increase the purchase of renewable energy resources from 33% to 50% by the end of 2030. It also begins the process of transforming the ISO into a regional organization to promote expanded use of clean energy in California and participating western states.