Assembly Bill (AB) 1969 (Yee, Stats. 2006, ch. 731) added § 399.20 to the Public Utilities Code, creating California’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program. On February 14, 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission implemented the § 399.20 FIT, authorizing the purchase of up to 480 MW of renewable generating capacity from renewable facilities smaller than 1.5 MW. These "feed-in tariffs provided a simple mechanism for small renewable generators to sell power to the utility at predefined terms and conditions, without engaging in timely contract negotiations. The AB 1969 FIT program set the price paid to small generators at the level of the Market Price Referent (MPR).
SB 32 (Negrete McLeod, 2009) amended PU Code Section 399.20 and increased the eligible project size to 3 MW. SB 2 (1x) (Simitian, 2011) amended PU Code 399.20 and deleted the reference to PU Code Section 399.15 and inserted language on how to determine the feed-in tariff price. Rulemaking 11-05-005 is currently implementing these statutory changes.
On February 14, 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission made feed-in tariffs available for the purchase of up to 480 MW of renewable generating capacity from small facilities (1.5 MW or less) throughout California. These "feed-in tariffs" present a simple mechanism for small renewable generators to sell power to the utility at predefined terms and conditions, without contract negotiations.
On May 24, 2012, the Commission adopted Decision (D.) 12-05-035, implementing a new pricing mechanism and program rules for the revised § 399.20 FIT program. In addition to increasing the eligible project size from 1.5 MW to 3 MW, D.12-05-035 also created the renewable market adjusting tariff (Re-MAT), a mechanism that allows the FIT price to adjust in real-time based on market conditions.
D.12-05-035 increased the overall statewide size of the FIT program to 750 MW, divided between the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and the public-owned utilities (POUs). The IOU-share of MWs under the revised FIT program is 493.6 MW, divided among the IOUs as follows:
- PG&E: 218.8 MW
- SCE: 226 MW
- SDG&E: 48.8 MW
Note, however, that D.12-05-035 expands upon the existing FIT program and thus the capacity available per IOU when the revised program becomes effective will be reduced by the capacity already subscribed under the existing FIT program.