Washington regulators to hold public workshop on Clean Energy Transformation Act

Anyone who is unable to attend the workshop can participate by calling 360-407-3810 and entering conference ID #347351, the commission said, adding that web participation is also available

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on July 16 said that it will hold a public workshop on July 30 at its headquarters in Lacey, Wash., to discuss implementation of the Washington Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), which Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law in May and requires electric utilities to transition to 100% clean power by 2045.

The bill also directs electric utilities to eliminate coal power from rates by 2025 and to provide offsets after 2030 for any carbon emissions from power generation sources, the commission said.

Washington’s investor-owned utilities must develop and implement plans to distribute more electricity from renewable or non-carbon-emitting resources or pay penalties for failing to meet requirements of the law, the commission said, adding that it will review the companies’ plans and ensure compliance with legislative requirements.

As noted on the commission’s website, the CETA limits cost increases for consumers due to the effects of the clean energy law to 2% per year, with the commission to establish those rules by 2021. The site noted that the commission is also authorized to temporarily relieve a utility of its emission reduction obligation if the electric grid’s reliability or safety is compromised. The site further noted that the commission will develop new rules for low-income customer support, the reduction of energy burden for vulnerable populations, and other ways to equitably distribute clean energy benefits to utility customers.

By 2022, the commission and the state Department of Commerce will adopt rules for reporting wholesale power transactions to ensure that the benefits of clean energy, such as renewable energy credits, are not double-counted between Washington and other states with carbon cap-and-trade programs, the site noted.

The commission said in its statement that the purpose of the workshop is to discuss the prioritization and timing of its proposed implementation plan for the CETA and other legislative requirements, including updates to electric planning and purchasing requirements; updates to the commission’s ratemaking policy standards; updates to the commission’s Energy Independence Act rules; guidelines for utilities’ clean energy implementation plans; and natural gas energy efficiency rules.

Anyone who is unable to attend the workshop can participate by calling 360-407-3810 and entering conference ID #347351, the commission said, adding that web participation is also available.