BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1247
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 12, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                   SB 1247 (Dutton) - As Amended:  August 11, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              Utilities and  
          Commerce     Vote:                            15-0

          Urgency:     Yes                  State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               

           SUMMARY  

          This bill:

          1)Provides that hydroelectric facilities qualify toward meeting  
            renewable portfolio standard (RPS) compliance regardless of  
            whether the facilities cause a change in the volume or timing  
            of streamflow pursuant to a Federal Energy Regulatory  
            Commission (FERC) license condition for licenses issued after  
            January 1, 2010.

          2)Provides that efficiency improvements, and the resulting  
            increased generating capacity at the Rock Creek hydroelectric  
            facility, qualify toward meeting RPS compliance pursuant to a  
            settlement agreement with the FERC. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Negligible fiscal impact.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Background  . Under current law, new hydroelectric generation of  
            30 megawatts (MW) or less is eligible to qualify toward RPS  
            compliance. In addition, efficiency improvements to an  
            existing hydroelectric generating facility can be considered  
            an eligible renewable resource, for purposes of the RPS, if  
            the facility received a water quality certification from the  
            State Water Resources Control Board within the immediately  
            preceding 15 years. Current law, however, precludes an  
            efficiency improvement from qualifying as a renewable resource  
            if it changes streamflow.








                                                                  SB 1247
                                                                  Page  2


          2)Purpose  . This bill addresses RPS compliance issues regarding  
            two hydroelectric facilities. First, the Rock Creek facility,  
            operated by PG&E, is located on the North Fork of the Feather  
            River. A $37 million upgrade to the facility will add about 11  
            MW of capacity. This facility did not receive its  
            certification from the Water Board, but rather from FERC  
            through a settlement agreement in 2001. SB 1247 specifically  
            allows the increased capacity of the Rock Creek facility to  
            count toward the RPS pursuant to this agreement.

            Second, the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD)  
            owns and operates the Upper American River Project, located on  
            the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. This project, which is  
            composed of several reservoirs and powerhouses, including  
            three generating facilities under 30 MW, recently went through  
            a relicensing process and is currently awaiting final FERC  
            approval. 

            Pursuant to SMUD's relicensing agreement and the expected  
            Water Board water quality certification, SMUD will increase  
            the volume of water released into the natural stream channel  
            from dams that deliver water to the three powerhouses.  The  
            increased releases, however, will provide an environmental  
            benefit by increasing aquatic resource habitat and recreation.  
             
           
           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081 





















                                                                                



                                                                  SB 1247
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 12, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                   SB 1247 (Dutton) - As Amended:  August 11, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              Utilities and  
          Commerce     Vote:                            15-0

          Urgency:     Yes                  State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               

           SUMMARY  

          This bill:

          1)Provides that hydroelectric facilities qualify toward meeting  
            renewable portfolio standard (RPS) compliance regardless of  
            whether the facilities cause a change in the volume or timing  
            of streamflow pursuant to a Federal Energy Regulatory  
            Commission (FERC) license condition for licenses issued after  
            January 1, 2010.

          2)Provides that efficiency improvements, and the resulting  
            increased generating capacity at the Rock Creek hydroelectric  
            facility, qualify toward meeting RPS compliance pursuant to a  
            settlement agreement with the FERC. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Negligible fiscal impact.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Background  . Under current law, new hydroelectric generation of  
            30 megawatts (MW) or less is eligible to qualify toward RPS  
            compliance. In addition, efficiency improvements to an  
            existing hydroelectric generating facility can be considered  
            an eligible renewable resource, for purposes of the RPS, if  
            the facility received a water quality certification from the  
            State Water Resources Control Board within the immediately  
            preceding 15 years. Current law, however, precludes an  
            efficiency improvement from qualifying as a renewable resource  
            if it changes streamflow.








                                                                  SB 1247
                                                                  Page  2


          2)Purpose  . This bill addresses RPS compliance issues regarding  
            two hydroelectric facilities. First, the Rock Creek facility,  
            operated by PG&E, is located on the North Fork of the Feather  
            River. A $37 million upgrade to the facility will add about 11  
            MW of capacity. This facility did not receive its  
            certification from the Water Board, but rather from FERC  
            through a settlement agreement in 2001. SB 1247 specifically  
            allows the increased capacity of the Rock Creek facility to  
            count toward the RPS pursuant to this agreement.

            Second, the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD)  
            owns and operates the Upper American River Project, located on  
            the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. This project, which is  
            composed of several reservoirs and powerhouses, including  
            three generating facilities under 30 MW, recently went through  
            a relicensing process and is currently awaiting final FERC  
            approval. 

            Pursuant to SMUD's relicensing agreement and the expected  
            Water Board water quality certification, SMUD will increase  
            the volume of water released into the natural stream channel  
            from dams that deliver water to the three powerhouses.  The  
            increased releases, however, will provide an environmental  
            benefit by increasing aquatic resource habitat and recreation.  
             
           
           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081 





















                                                                                



                                                                  SB 1247
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 12, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                   SB 1247 (Dutton) - As Amended:  August 11, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              Utilities and  
          Commerce     Vote:                            15-0

          Urgency:     Yes                  State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               

           SUMMARY  

          This bill:

          1)Provides that hydroelectric facilities qualify toward meeting  
            renewable portfolio standard (RPS) compliance regardless of  
            whether the facilities cause a change in the volume or timing  
            of streamflow pursuant to a Federal Energy Regulatory  
            Commission (FERC) license condition for licenses issued after  
            January 1, 2010.

          2)Provides that efficiency improvements, and the resulting  
            increased generating capacity at the Rock Creek hydroelectric  
            facility, qualify toward meeting RPS compliance pursuant to a  
            settlement agreement with the FERC. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Negligible fiscal impact.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Background  . Under current law, new hydroelectric generation of  
            30 megawatts (MW) or less is eligible to qualify toward RPS  
            compliance. In addition, efficiency improvements to an  
            existing hydroelectric generating facility can be considered  
            an eligible renewable resource, for purposes of the RPS, if  
            the facility received a water quality certification from the  
            State Water Resources Control Board within the immediately  
            preceding 15 years. Current law, however, precludes an  
            efficiency improvement from qualifying as a renewable resource  
            if it changes streamflow.








                                                                  SB 1247
                                                                  Page  2


          2)Purpose  . This bill addresses RPS compliance issues regarding  
            two hydroelectric facilities. First, the Rock Creek facility,  
            operated by PG&E, is located on the North Fork of the Feather  
            River. A $37 million upgrade to the facility will add about 11  
            MW of capacity. This facility did not receive its  
            certification from the Water Board, but rather from FERC  
            through a settlement agreement in 2001. SB 1247 specifically  
            allows the increased capacity of the Rock Creek facility to  
            count toward the RPS pursuant to this agreement.

            Second, the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD)  
            owns and operates the Upper American River Project, located on  
            the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. This project, which is  
            composed of several reservoirs and powerhouses, including  
            three generating facilities under 30 MW, recently went through  
            a relicensing process and is currently awaiting final FERC  
            approval. 

            Pursuant to SMUD's relicensing agreement and the expected  
            Water Board water quality certification, SMUD will increase  
            the volume of water released into the natural stream channel  
            from dams that deliver water to the three powerhouses.  The  
            increased releases, however, will provide an environmental  
            benefit by increasing aquatic resource habitat and recreation.  
             
           
           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081