Renewable energy developers will find the following information about our Regional Renewable Choice program, also called Enhanced Community Renewables.
Links and resources
The Regional Renewable Choice program at PG&E is a result of Senate Bill 43, which was signed into law on September 28, 2013 by Governor Jerry Brown. This bill enacted the Green Tariff Shared Renewables (GTSR) program, a 600-megawatt statewide program that allows participating utilities' customers— including local governments, businesses, schools, homeowners, municipal customers and renters—to meet up to 100 percent of their energy usage with generation from eligible renewable energy resources. We offer two structures within the Green Tariff Shared Renewables program:
- Regional Renewable Choice
- PG&E's Solar Choice
The California Public Utilities Commission has ruled that it is essential that participants in the Regional Renewable Choice Program be protected and that utility customers do not bear the cost of any securities litigation associated with a securities claim related to a Regional Renewable Choice project. Therefore, the Commission requires that prior to PG&E's acceptance of any Regional Renewable project that contains a customer-developer contract, the developer must include a credible and certified securities opinion that the Regional Renewable developer and project comply with securities law, and that PG&E and its customers are not at risk for securities claims associated with the Regional Renewable project. Accordingly, PG&E makes no representation or warranty regarding whether a Regional Renewable Choice project or its developer are in compliance with securities law, and customers and participants in Regional Renewable Projects are solely responsible for ensuring that they and the Regional Renewable project developer are in compliance with all securities laws.
The Regional Renewable Choice program allows customers to subscribe to renewable energy from specific newly developed generation projects sized from 0.5 to 20 MW from which PG&E procures energy within our service territory.
The transaction structure of the Regional Renewable Choice program has three main components:
Customers have the opportunity to contract directly with a developer on a specific renewables project and subscribe to a portion of the project's output corresponding to all or a portion of the customer's energy needs. The developer and eligible customers are free to make any financial arrangement that they wish and sign a Customer-Development Agreement (CDA).
Customer Energy Statement Credit
The customer will receive a credit on their PG&E energy statement based on the calendar month output of their subscription to the project. View the E-ECR rate schedule. The credit will not reflect the charges between the developer and customer.
Power Purchase Agreement
Developers sign a Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM) Power Purchase Agreement and Enhanced Community Renewables rider (pending California Public Utilities Commission approval) with PG&E. PG&E pays the developer for the unsubscribed energy only (energy associated with project capacity not subscribed to by customers).
There are four main areas of program-specific requirements that developers must meet:
- Green-e Energy
- Marketing materials
- Community interest
- Customer-Developer Agreement
What is Green-e Energy?
Under Senate Bill 43, the Regional Renewable Choice program is required to be Green-e Energy-certified, as administered by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions. Green-e Energy is North America's leading voluntary certification program for renewable energy. Since 1997, Green-e Energy has certified renewable energy that meets environmental and consumer protection standards that it developed in conjunction with leading environmental, energy and policy organizations. Green-e Energy requires that sellers of certified renewable energy disclose clear and useful information to potential customers, allowing consumers to make informed choices. Green-e Energy certification provides consumers with assurance that the product sold under Regional Renewable Choice meets the Green-e Energy national standard, is not double counted and is marketed in a clear and accurate way for customers. The Regional Renewable Choice program has achieved Green-e Energy certification.
Under the California Enhanced Community Renewables program, renewable energy project developers take on the responsibility of marketing their projects directly to customers and, as such, agree to comply with Green-e Energy environmental and consumer protection standards. This compliance includes following Green-e Energy guidelines on all product marketing and having an obligation to provide the end-use customer with accurate and sufficient disclosures regarding the projects. For more information on Green-e Energy developer requirements under Senate Bill 43, please visit Green-e Energy's California Enhanced Community Renewables Information for Developers and Generators.
Summary of the Green-e Energy developer requirements:
- Creation of a webpage that provides certain assurances, connection to a live person to answer questions and links to the utility providing the connection and to Green-e Energy. Detailed requirements can be found starting on page 1 of Green-e Energy's developer requirements (PDF).
- Developing and sending a welcome packet to customers within 60 days of a signed Customer-Developer Agreement. Detailed requirements can be found starting on page 11 of Green-e Energy's developer requirements (PDF).
- Submittal of a tracking system attestation and host attestations (if applicable). Detailed requirements can be found on page 13 of Green-e Energy's developer requirements (PDF).
Note: Many of the Green-e Energy requirements must be met prior to marketing to customers—see below.
What are the marketing requirements for Regional Renewable Choice projects?
The California Public Utility Commission's final GTSR Decision (PDF) (15-01-051) states that PG&E must review all developer marketing materials before they are used to market to customers.
All developer marketing materials must comply with the following:
- Green-e Energy Developer Requirements (PDF)
- The California Public Utility Commission's Community Choice Aggregation Code of Conduct, which includes marketing and outreach requirements relative to Community Choice Aggregation.
- Must be truthful, accurate and not false or misleading.
Developers must include a disclaimer statement provided by PG&E on all marketing materials. Developers must also obtain permission from PG&E in order to use the logo for any purpose. Contact email@example.com for the PG&E Disclaimer Statement and Logo Usage Guidelines.
To start the procurement process described below, developers must submit a complete marketing review packet containing the following:
- All marketing materials the Developer intends to use to market to customers. These materials must align with the requirements of either Marketing Phase One: Community Interest or Marketing Phase Two: Customer Enrollment as provided in the Green-e Energy Developer Requirements.
- Marketing Compliance Attestation (PDF)
- A summary of all claims and factual statements made in marketing materials.
The process for submitting a marketing review packet to PG&E for review is provided in Stage 1 Submit Marketing Materials of the Developer Bid Submittal process, below.
It is important to note that any customer-facing marketing materials created after the initial marketing review and approval must also be submitted and approved prior to use. The ongoing submission of marketing materials will follow the same process outlined in Stage 1, below.
What are the community interest requirements for Regional Renewable Choice projects?
Resolution E-5028 (PDF) was issued in 2019 and includes modifications on some of the community interest requirements that were discussed in the California Public Utility Commission's final GTSR Decision (PDF) and D.16-05-006 which states that in order for a developer to qualify for a Power Purchase Agreement, there must be sufficient demonstration of community interest for Regional Renewable Choice projects. Developers must demonstrate community interest for Regional Renewable Choice projects and must be achieved prior to the start of construction. The following are some the requirements that must be met as a developer:
- Documentation that community members have committed to enroll in 30 percent of the project's capacity or documentation that community members have provided expressions of interest in the project sufficient to reach 51 percent of the project's capacity
- Demonstration that 1/6th (by load) of the demonstrated community interest in the project is from residential subscribers, at the time of commercial operation.
For the purpose of demonstrating community interest, community members/subscribers must be located within the same municipality or county or within ten miles of the project's address. Community members/subscribers must also meet the other customer eligibility criteria as defined in E-ECR (PDF).
Developers must inform customers committing to enroll of an estimated price, when the project is expected to come online and a contract term. An expression of interest does not require disclosure of these elements. Both the commitment to enroll and expression of interest are managed through a web-based platform. Once marketing materials are submitted by the developer and are approved, PG&E will provide login credentials to the developer who would then provide a link to interested customers. Interested customers will use their PG&E log-in credentials to access the portal. Once verified, customers will be able to express interest or commit to enroll in the specified project. The portal will save the information and will automatically track progress towards community interest requirements.
Developers may not market to customers, even for the purpose of obtaining community interest until marketing materials have been approved.
What is a Customer-Developer Agreement?
The California Public Utility Commission's final GTSR Decision (PDF) (15-01-051) states that the developer and customer are likely to have an agreement separate from the utility in which they take on various obligations. This agreement is called a Customer Developer Agreement and both parties are "free to design their own transaction structure to maximize their goals and ensure that projects are financeable."
There are, however, some important obligations that must be met when designing Customer Developer Agreements:
- Developers must take affirmative steps to protect customers and are required to provide representations, warranties and indemnifications sufficient to protect PG&E and PG&E shareholders in the event of a dispute between the developer and the customer.
- Developers must ensure that customer eligibility as well as the subscription terms defined in the Customer-Developer Agreement, meet the requirements as specified in E-ECR (PDF). For example, the customer's subscription must be within the equivalent of 25-120 percent of their annual usage.
The Customer-Developer Agreement is not part of the marketing review and approval process and PG&E will only require select information related to the customer's subscription be made available to PG&E for the necessary purpose of determining the appropriate credit to apply to participating customer's bills.
Developers are not permitted to sell energy directly to the customer.
Stage 1 – Submit developer marketing materials for review
1. After reviewing and completing the marketing material requirements in the section above, a developer can submit their marketing review packet by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A complete marketing review packet includes:
- All marketing materials the developer intends to use to market to customers prior to seeking additional marketing review. This must include a customer-facing web page (in development).
- A summary of all claims and factual statements made in marketing materials.
2. PG&E will respond within 30 days and identify any deficiencies or provide approval.
3. If the marketing review packet is approved, please keep a record of the approval notice for submittal in Stage 2. Once approved, the developer may commence direct marketing to customers to obtain community interest. Demonstration of community interest must be included in the Stage 2.
Stage 2 – Participate in Regional Renewable Choice/ECR Request for Offer
PG&E's Summer and Winter 2018 Regional Renewable Choice (RRC) Request for Offer (RFO) solicitation Protocol has a complete list of eligibility criteria in addition to the RAM 6 PPA and RRC Rider.
Summer 2018 RFO Solicitation materials (No longer accepting Offers)
Winter 2018 RFO Solicitation materials
- Attachment A - Winter 2018 RRC Protocol (PDF)
Regional Renewable Choice RFO Protocol Appendices (Applicable to both Summer and Winter RRC RFOs)
- Site Control Questionnaire and Attestation (DOCX)
- Acknowledgement Commitment Site Owner (DOCX)
- Attachment B - Regional Renewable Choice Rider and Amendment to PGE 2015 RAM PPA (DOCX)
- Attachment C - Regional Renewable Choice Rider and Amendment to PGE 2015 RAM PPA for DERP Resources (DOCX)
- Attachment D - Form RAM PPA with Chapter 11 Modifications (DOCX)
- Attachment E - Environmental Justice Census Tract List (PDF)
Sample PPA documents
PG&E hosted a Participants' Webinar for the Winter Regional Renewable Choice RFO from 2 PM to 4 PM PPT on November 19, 2018. The presentation of this event and corresponding audio are available below. If the audio portion of the Webinar does not open in your browser, you will need to open the Windows Media Player and copy the URL into your media file application.
- Winter 2018 RRC RFO Webinar Presentation (PDF)
- Audio File from the Winter 2018 RRC RFO Webinar (MP3)
- Transcript from the 2018 Winter RRC RFO Webinar (PDF)
- Attendee List from the 2018 Winter RRC RFO Webinar (PDF)
PG&E hosted a Participants' Webinar for the Summer Regional Renewable Choice RFO from 10 AM to 12 PM PPT on August 30, 2018. The presentation of this event and corresponding audio are available below. If the audio portion of the Webinar does not open in your browser, you will need to open the Windows Media Player and copy the URL into your media file application.
- Summer 2018 RRC RFO Webinar Presentation (PDF)
- Audio File from the Summer 2018 RRC RFO Webinar (MP3)
- Transcript from the 2018 Summer RRC RFO Webinar (PDF)
- Attendee List from the 2018 Summer RRC RFO Webinar (PDF)
Frequently asked questions
Power Advocate instructions and registration information
All Participants who are interested in submitting a bid package into PG&E's Winter Regional Renewable Choice RFO will need to register with Power Advocate before submitting an offer into the RFO. A link to register at Power Advocate is available here: https://www.poweradvocate.com/pR.do?okey=82644&pubEvent=true
Only those Participants who have been accepted through the Power Advocate platform will be permitted to bid into this RFO.
Power Advocate Instructions
All bid package materials must be submitted on the Power Advocate site by the schedule and time indicated above.
Distribution and Transmission information
The Generator Interconnection Procedure pursuant to the WDT and CAISO Tariff consists of three application processes: (1) The Fast Track Procedure for generators 5 MW (2 MW on 12kV, 3MW on 21kV, and 5MW on higher voltages) in size that pass the "Fast Track Screens" (2) the Independent Study Process for all generators that are electrically independent from another generator or cluster of generators, and (3) the Cluster Study Process for interconnection requests that do not qualify for the Fast Track Process or the Independent Study Process.
Under the CAISO Tariff and PG&E WDT Generator Interconnection Procedures, all interconnection requests under the Independent Study Process or Cluster Process may request interconnection as a "full capacity" resource. Please refer to PG&E's or CAISO's website for more details.
For more information about the interconnection process, please visit PG&E's Wholesale Generator Interconnections website. Sellers may also send an email to PG&E's Generation Interconnection Services at email@example.com.
Any application for interconnection to PG&E's can now be submitted through an online form. More information, including a link to the application is available
Power Purchase Agreements
If your project is awarded a Power Purchase Agreement, please keep in mind the following unique requirements:
- "RRC PPA" = RAM 6 PPA + RRC Rider
- A Securities Opinion, required per Decision 15-01-051 (PDF) and modified per Decision 17-07-007 (DOCX)
- Provide a Green-e Energy Tracking Attestation prior to achieving commercial operation and updates as required.
- Regular submittal of customer enrollment levels for Power Purchase Agreement settlements.
- Relevant documents
- Regulatory resources
- Green-e Code of Conduct (DOCX)
- Green-e Energy's California Enhanced Community Renewables Information for Developers and Generators
- Green-e Energy's Developer Requirements (PDF)
- Green-e Tracking System Attestation (DOCX)
- Community Choice Aggregation Code of Conduct
- Marketing Materials Attestation Template (PDF)
Wholesale electric power procurement
PG&E purchases wholesale electric energy and capacity from generators and suppliers.