There’s a lot of action going on at the California Public Utilities Commission in the last week or so.

On January 24, one of the Administrative Law Judges in the Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) proceeding issued a ruling seeking comment on “procurement expenditure limitations” for investor-owned utilities (the PG&Es of the world) — the cost containment mechanism that is replacing the old “Market Price Referrent” or MPR value that the staff used to come up with for supposedly helping all stakeholders to determine if a particular RPS contract was cost-effective.  This should be both a very hotly contested and closely followed issue as the price of renewable energy is of course the most criticized aspect of developing renewable power.

Interestingly, this is not asking for specific quantitative proposals, but asking for more qualitative answers that will help guide the methodology used to develop the mechanism.  The Commission’s own Energy Division will be taking the first pass at creating a straw proposal that everyone will be able to comment on.

Parties wishing to make their viewpoints on the methodology that Energy Division should use in constructing its proposal must file opening comments by February 17th.

Also this week, another ALJ ruling came out seeking supplemental comments regarding the RPS procurement targets.  Specifically it asks questions regarding such thing as the contents and frequency of the compliance reporting and whether portfolio content category procurement requirements should be applied annually, etc.   Call this the real nuts and bolts of implementation.  Opening comments on these matters are due February 10th.

Finally Energy Division announced today that it will be seeking RPS progress reports on March 1st and provided a new and simplified template for every electric retail seller to report their progress.

So lots of moving parts as the new RPS program implementation continues to march forward.  Stay tuned!