California Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin proposes Clean Peak Energy Legislation

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sacramento – California Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin has introduced AB 1405 to deploy more clean energy resources during peak electricity demand, in order to meet the State’s 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) and renewable energy targets.

“California’s goals of 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2030, 40% greenhouse gas reductions below 1990 levels by 2030, and providing reliable, cost-effective electricity to energy customers are laudable, but ultimately incongruous in the absence of a policy framework and new market mechanisms to allow California’s Independent System Operator (CAISO) to manage the impacts of increasing renewables penetration” said Mullin.

AB 1405 defines a four hour peak-load time period around the hour of each day that exhibits the highest peak demand and requires the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to determine the percentage of clean kilowatt hours each electric utility delivers during the peak-load time period. Beginning in 2020, it requires the commission to ensure that, on at least 15 days every month, each utility increases the percentage of clean peak resources it delivers, every three years until 2029 or when 40% of demand during the peak-load time is derived from clean resources. It also requires the PUC to consider targets to encourage the deployment of clean peak resources to provide flexibility and reliability services.

As more renewables are built toward the 50% RPS goal, more fossil fuel power plants will be built to provide flexibility and reliability, which is incompatible with the GHG reduction and cost-effective goals. To balance these objectives, clean resources must provide two functions that they have not traditionally been able to provide, but now can: deployment during peak demand[i] and essential reliability services.[ii] CAISO, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and the electric utilities need new rules and market mechanisms to facilitate these services in order to ensure a clean, reliable grid.

“California’s commitment to addressing climate change has been extremely progressive and we must continue to ensure that our policies and programs reflect the ever evolving technology being developed,” Mullin added.

AB 1405 has been referred to the Assembly Committees on Utilities and Energy, and Natural Resources. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.

Kevin Mullin represents the 22nd Assembly District and is the Speaker pro Tempore of the California State Assembly. He chairs the Select Committee on Biotechnology and serves on the following committees:  Budget, Budget Subcommittee #3 on Resources, Energy and Transportation, Business and Professions, Elections and Redistricting and Revenue and Taxation. The 22nd district includes the cities of Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Pacifica, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, portions of South San Francisco and the San Mateo County Coastside communities of Montara and Moss Beach.