Renewable energy developers will find the following information about our Regional Renewable Choice program, also called Enhanced Community Renewables.
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:
Visit the customer website for both Solar Choice programs.
Get more developer information about PG&E's Solar Choice Program.
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 Solar 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 developers to work directly with customers to develop new renewables projects sized from 0.5 to 20.0 MWs that are located in our service area.
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).
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.
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:
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:
Note: Many of the Green-e Energy requirements must be met prior to marketing to customers—see below.
The California Public Utility Commission's final GTSR Decision (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:
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:
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.
The California Public Utility Commission's final GTSR Decision and D. 16-05-006 state 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. This must be achieved within 60 days from the PPA award date by the following:
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.
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. For both the commitment to enroll and expression of interest, documentation must be either in the form of a physical signed document, or digital e-signature technology—see below.
A complete community interest packet must include:
1. Summary Form
2. Supporting Documentation—scanned, signed documents or proof of online equivalent
The process for submitting a community interest packet to PG&E for review is provided in Stage 2 "Participate in ECR RFO Using the RAM Tool" of the Developer Bid Submittal process, below.
Developers may not market to customers, even for the purpose of obtaining community interest until marketing materials have been approved.
The California Public Utility Commission's final GTSR Decision (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:
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.
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:
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.
Please refer to PG&E's Fall 2017 Regional Renewable Choice (RRC) Request for Offer (RFO) solicitation Protocol for a complete list of eligibility criteria in addition to the RAM 6 PPA and RRC Rider.
|PG&E issues Regional Renewable Choice RFO||September 12, 2017|
|Participants' Webinar||September 15, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. (PPT)|
|Deadline for Participants' to submit Offers via Power Advocate||October 12, 2017 no later than 12:00 P.M. (PPT)|
|Selected and Waitlisted Participants notified||December 14, 2017|
|Demonstration of Community Interest||February 12, 2018|
|Target timeframe of Execution of final Agreements||March 14, 2018|
|Advice Letter Filing for executed Regional Renewable Choice PPAs||April 13, 2018|
PG&E hosted a Bidders' Webinar for the Regional Renewable Choice RFO from 10 AM to 12 PM PPT on September 15, 2017. The presentation and corresponding audio is available below. If the audio portion of the Bidder's 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.
All Participants who are interested in submitting a bid package into PG&E's 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=73404&pubEvent=true
Only those Participants who have been accepted through the Power Advocate platform will be permitted to bid into this RFO.
All bid package materials must be submitted on the Power Advocate site by the schedule and time indicated above.
The Generator Interconnection Procedure pursuant to the WDT and CAISO Tariff consists of three application processes: (1) Fast Track Procedure for generators 5 MW (2 MW on 12 kV, 3 MW on 21 kV, and 5 MW on higher voltages) in sizes 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 here.
If your project is awarded a Power Purchase Agreement, please keep in mind the following unique requirements:
Through the RE-Powering America's Land Initiative, the EPA encourages renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites when such development is aligned with the community's vision for the site. The Initiative identifies the renewable energy potential of these sites and provides other useful resources for communities, developers, industry, state and local governments or anyone interested in reusing these sites for renewable energy development.
If you are interested in additional information regarding developing a solar project on these sites and resources developed through this initiative such as the RE-Powering Electronic Decision Tree tool which guides interested parties through a process to screen sites for their suitability for solar (and wind) installations, please visit the EPA's RE-Powering America's Land website for more information. You can identify the location of EPA and/or State-tracked sites (abandoned mines, brownfields, landfills, Superfund sites, and sites with hazardous waste permits) along with information on their renewable energy potential using RE-Powering Mapper. Note that projects cannot be given any preference in the Solar Choice programs for being sited on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills and mines.
Business & Cooperative Specialist
Merced Field Office
United States Department of Agriculture
2926 G Street, Suite 100
Merced, CA 95340
1-209-722-4119 ext: 119
Western Regional Energy Coordinator