New California Bill Pushes for Near-Term Boost in Solar and Wind, Plus More Geothermal

On Thursday, California legislators were introduced to a new clean energy bill, one with a decidedly shorter-term goal than shifting to a 100 percent clean energy grid by 2045 (SB 100), or creating a pan-Western region grid over the coming decade (AB 819). Instead, the new bill, AB 893 , aims to force utilities to buy about 2,500 megawatts of wind and solar power over the next four years — a move its supporters say will fill a widening gap in the state’s utility-scale renewables market, and save hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax credits that could otherwise be lost. At least that’s what AB 893 would do under the new amendments added to it this week. Prior to this late-breaking change, the bill was solely about requiring the state’s investor-owned and public utilities, community-choice aggregators (CCAs) and direct energy providers to buy about 5,000 megawatts of geothermal power under the state’s renewable portfolio standard — a proposal that was rejected by the legislature in 2014. But the newly amended bill makes several important changes to the original framework, according to Rick Umoff, California director of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association. First, it splits […]

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