Our monthly newsletter provides regular news on RPSs. Below are some additional news items.

RPS News

  • September 5, 2017

    Upcoming Event: National Summit on RPS - November 2017

    The 2017 National Summit on RPS will take place on Tuesday, November 7 and Wednesday, November 8 in Arlington, Virginia at the Westin Crystal City Hotel. Attending the Summit is the best way to learn about developments and trends related to state RPSs and to network with many of the people from across the country who are most engaged in implementing and analyzing state RPS programs. The Summit is hosted by CESA for the RPS Collaborative, with generous financial support from the Energy Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. Read more and register here.

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  • October 26, 2016

    California Passes Halfway Mark On 50 Percent Renewable Energy Goal

    In October 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation extending the state’s RPS and increasing its final requirement to 50 percent in 2030. Since then, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) have been planning for implementing this highly ambitious policy, and have recently reported that the state has reached the halfway point for meeting this goal. In November, CESA will be hosting a webinar with representatives from the CPUC and the CEC to discuss how they are preparing for the enhanced RPS and the state of their plans.

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  • September 14, 2016

    Registration Now Open for 2016 National Summit on Renewable Portfolio Standards

    The RPS Collaborative, managed by CESA, will host the premier RPS-related event of the year in Washington, DC on November 30 and December 1, the 2016 National Summit on RPS. Attending the Summit is the best way to learn about developments and trends related to state renewable portfolio standards and to network with many of the people from across the country who are most engaged in implementing and analyzing state RPS programs. The first day of the Summit will be open to all individuals interested in RPS issues; the second day, December 1st, will be restricted to representatives of state governments and the federal government. The Summit is hosted by CESA, with funding support from the Energy Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. Read more about the 2016 RPS Summit here.

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  • March 23, 2016

    State RPS Programs Remain Strong

    Over the past three years, numerous news stories have highlighted efforts to roll back state renewable portfolio standards (RPSs), which require electricity suppliers to get an increasing share of their electricity from clean sources. Anti-RPS legislation has been introduced in many states and some state legislatures have held high-profile debates over the merits of retaining their RPS. A few states have weakened or ended an RPS. It would be easy to assume that RPSs, which have fostered renewable energy development in 29 states and the District of Columbia, are in decline.

    However, in contrast to this narrative, most of the significant RPS actions that states have taken have been in the opposite direction. New and strengthened RPS laws and regulations will lead to many times more renewable energy generation than will be eliminated by RPS-weakening legislation.

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  • March 16, 2016

    Oregon Expands Its RPS


    On March 11, 2016, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed legislation that will require the state’s two largest utilities to phase out imports of coal-powered electricity by 2030. The law also increases the Oregon RPS from 25 percent by 2025 to 50 percent by 2040. It increases the 2025 target to 27 percent and includes other interim targets on the way to 2040 (35 percent by 2030 and 45 percent by 2035). The legislation emerged out of discussions between the state’s environmental advocacy organizations and the two utilities, which sought to avoid a proposed ballot measure that would have required even more dramatic action. An overview of the legislation is available here and here. Read more on the coalition between environmentalists and utilities to support the legislation here.

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  • November 10, 2015

    Presentations now available from the 2015 National Summit on RPS

    Presentations are now available from the 2015 National Summit on RPS, which took place in Arlington, VA on Thursday, November 5 and Friday, November 6. The first day of the Summit was open to all State-Federal RPS Collaborative Members; the second day was restricted to state and federal agency representatives.

    The Summit provided an opportunity to learn about developments and trends related to state RPSs and to network with many of the people from across the country who are most engaged in implementing and analyzing state RPSs. The Summit was made possible through funding from the US Department of Energy and the Energy Foundation.

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  • May 15, 2015

    Vermont To Establish RPS

    The Vermont legislature recently passed a bill creating a state Renewable Energy Standard. Governor Peter Shumlin is expected to sign the bill. According to the Governor’s administration, the legislation will lead to 400 megawatts of additional renewable energy generation by 2032. For more information, click here.

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  • March 9, 2015

    CESA Executive Director Warren Leon interviewed on PRI's "Living on Earth"

    CESA Executive Director Warren Leon was interviewed on PRI's Living on Earth about the state of Renewable Portfolio Standards in the US. The full interview is available here.

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  • August 6, 2014

    Massachusetts Adds Renewable Thermal to their RPS

    Renewable thermal heat is now eligible for Alternative Energy Credits in Massachusetts' Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. Renewable thermal technologies had previously been eligible to earn credits for electricity production, but not for heat production, which is a much more efficient use of these technologies. Eligible renewable thermal technologies include biomass, geothermal and solar thermal. Full eligibilty in the RPS program will be a major boost to the development of renewable thermal technologies in Massachusetts.

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  • March 31, 2014

    New RPS Collaborative Report: Commerce Clause Analysis of People. v. Nazarian and Solomon v. Hanna

    CESA's State-Federal RPS Collaborative has published a new report on the implications for RPSs of two recent commerce clause cases.  In the past, certain provisions in RPS programs have been challenged in court as violating the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. The RPS Collaborative has previously published an overview paper explaining how states can reduce the likelihood of a successful challenge. Now, two recent cases—one in Maryland and the other in New Jersey—can provide additional guidance to states seeking to retain economic benefits of an RPS. The cases did not focus directly on the states’ RPSs, but rather on efforts to increase in-state capacity resources. Nevertheless, because they involve the electric utility sector and the courts concluded that the programs complied with the Commerce Clause, the cases shed light on ways in which an RPS program can be protected against a constitutional challenge. The full report is available here.

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  • February 19, 2014

    Net Metering and the Colorado Renewable Energy Standard

    There is an increasingly lively and contentious debate in many states over net metering policies. In some cases, this intersects with a state’s RPS policies and program administration. In Colorado, the state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, filed a proposed 2014 compliance plan for the state’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) that asked the Colorado Public Utility Commission to more clearly identify all the costs and benefits of solar customers’ net metered systems and to consider cutting the incentives paid through net metering. This led to considerable concern among the solar industry and clean energy advocates about the possible weakening of net metering incentives. To allow for a more extended and orderly consideration of the policy issues, the PUC has now decided to approve a motion from the Colorado Energy Office setting up a separate proceeding for the consideration of net metering. This takes net metering out of the docket for the rest of the RES compliance plan and leaves existing net metering rules in place. As Denise Stepto, Deputy Director and Communications Director in the Energy Office, pointed out: “The decision opens the way for a more transparent and broader discussion.” For a news story covering some of the issues, click here.

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  • February 5, 2014

    A New Ohio Court Case Claims State RPS Violates Commerce Clause

    An opponent of a planned Ohio wind farm has filed with the state’s Supreme Court claiming that the state’s RPS, which provides incentives supporting the windfarm, is unconstitutional, because it includes a preference for in-state projects. To learn more about the controversy over this wind farm, click here. To understand the potential relevance of the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution to RPS programs, see the 2011 Commerce Clause report, written by Carolyn Elefant and Ed Holt for the RPS Collaborative.

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  • January 15, 2014

    Costs and Benefits of Distributed Generation

    A report from the Regulatory Assistance Project on Designing Distributed Generation Tariffs Well includes a section on “Benefits, Costs, and Valuation Perspectives” of distributed generation. Download the full report here.

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  • January 8, 2014

    Wind Power, Active Power Controls, and Grid Reliability

    A new report by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of Colorado, and the Edison Electric Institute on Active Power Controls from Wind Power: Bridging the Gaps shows that “wind power technology can assist the power system by providing control of its active power output being injected onto the grid…. The focus of this report is a mitigation strategy that is not often discussed and is in some ways counter-intuitive: the use of wind power to support power system reliability by providing active power control (APC) at fast timescales. APC is the adjustment of a resource’s active power in various response time frames to assist in balancing the generation and load, thereby improving power system reliability.” Read the full report here

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  • January 1, 2014

    Review of 2013 State Energy Legislation

    The Center for the New Energy Economy has published a paper reviewing what happened with a wide range of advanced energy legislation proposed in the various states across the country. The paper is based on the information collected through the Center’s Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker. Among the conclusions related to RPS, “The overall impact of the 2013 legislative session is that the state RPS market is larger, particularly in the four states, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, and Maryland, that enacted legislation to increase renewable requirements." Read the full paper here.

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  • June 28, 2013

    New Report from Clean Energy States Alliance Investigates Status of State RPS Laws Nationwide

    Montpelier, VT — Today the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) released a new report, titled The State of State Renewable Portfolio Standards, that analyzes state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) laws as a policy mechanism, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, and assessing their impact on the growing national renewable energy market.

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  • June 3, 2013

    Using State RPSs to Promote Resilient Power at Critical Infrastructure Facilities

    The new briefing paper from Todd Olinsky-Paul, Project Director at Clean Energy States Alliance, explores whether RPSs could be used to help address the problem of electric grid failures from severe storms.

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Learn About Energy Storage Mandates

Click Here for the event materials from CESA's webinar on the California Energy Storage Mandate.