PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

Northern California Wildfires

Renewable Energy

PG&E delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy. Today, 33 percent of our delivered electricity comes from renewable sources, including solar, wind, geothermal, small hydroelectric and various forms of bioenergy. PG&E reached California’s 2020 renewable energy goal three years ahead of schedule, and we are well positioned to meet the state’s new 60 percent by 2030 renewable energy mandate set forth in Senate Bill (SB) 100.

Our Approach

PG&E uses a range of options to reach California’s renewable energy goals, including competitive solicitations to procure renewable energy from third parties and owning renewable energy projects ourselves. We collaborate with regulators, environmental organizations and other stakeholders to ensure that we continue to manage our portfolio responsibly and in a way that is affordable for customers.

California’s Renewable Energy Targets

In 2015, PG&E supported (SB) 350, which increased the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50 percent by 2030. SB 100, which became law in September 2018, accelerates the 50 percent RPS target to December 31, 2026, increases the RPS target to 60 percent by December 31, 2030, and further amends the RPS statute to set a policy of meeting 100 percent of retail sales from eligible renewables and zero-carbon resources by December 31, 2045. We have made significant progress, with 33 percent of the energy delivered to customers coming from eligible renewable sources in 2017.

2017 Milestones

In 2017, five large California projects under contract to Pacific Gas and Electric Company were completed:

  • Sunray Solar: a 20-MW solar photovoltaic project built by Renewables Holdco in San Bernardino County
  • Westside Solar: a 20-MW solar photovoltaic project built by NextEra Energy Resources in Fresno County
  • Bayshore Solar A, B and C: three separate 20-MW solar photovoltaic projects built by FTP Power in Los Angeles County

In addition to these projects, PG&E added 12 small projects under 20 MW in size. In total, through these 17 projects, PG&E added 162 MW of renewable energy, including 11 solar photovoltaic projects (156 MW total) and six small hydropower projects (6 MW). These projects also yield a positive economic effect on the surrounding communities.

Measuring Progress

We continued our progress toward meeting California’s renewable energy mandate. In fact, PG&E reached California’s 2020 renewable energy goal three years ahead of schedule. By the end of 2017, 33 percent of the electricity delivered to customers came from RPS-eligible resources. California’s RPS is measured by the percentage of total retail sales that come from RPS-eligible resources.

The majority of our renewable resources come from contracts with third-party renewable energy companies. Overall, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has contracted for more than 12,800 MW of RPS-eligible energy since the start of California’s RPS program in 2002. PG&E’s RPS-eligible portfolio includes more than 6,900 MW of active contracts as of January 2018; approximately 6,500 MW of these are currently delivering energy, with about 330 MW under development as of January 2018.

Renewables Portfolio Standard—Active Contracts as of January 2018 Footnote 1
Type Number MW % By Count % By Capacity
Total 256 6,922 100% 100% Footnote 2
Bioenergy 27 341 11% 5%
Geothermal 3 271 1% 4%
Small Hydroelectric 83 259 32% 4%
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) 114 3,398 45% 49%
Solar Thermal 4 741 1% 11%
Wind 25 1,912 10% 28%
  • 1. Includes new RPS procurement through the RPS, RAM, RAM for PV Program, PV Request for Offers, Qualified Facilities, Renewable Energy Market Adjusting Tariff / Feed-in Tariff (ReMAT/FiT), Renewable Energy Credit only, and Etiwanda Irrigation District Water Authority. Excludes utility-owned generation, terminated contracts and expired contracts.1
  • 2. Numbers may not add up to 100 due to rounding.2

Not counted in these contracts is 471 MW of PG&E-owned eligible renewable generation facilities. This includes 152 MW of solar facilities and 319 MW of small hydroelectric facilities.

In addition, PG&E has connected to the grid more than 370,000 customers with private rooftop solar—representing about one-fifth of the nation’s private rooftop solar and more than 3,570 MW of clean energy.

Looking Ahead

PG&E believes California’s forward-looking RPS program is an important step toward achieving the state’s bold climate change and clean energy goals. We stand ready to provide clean energy in a way that manages costs for customers, ensures electric reliability and gas safety, and creates a model program for other states and nations to follow.

By entering into contracts and long-term commitments while the technologies and the RPS program were still developing, we have helped promote the development of California’s robust renewable resource markets across the United States.

Moving forward, PG&E remains focused on achieving the state’s clean energy goals in a manner that manages costs for our customers. We are actively encouraging the state to continue its integrated greenhouse gas policy that achieves emissions reductions at the lowest cost to California residents, rather than imposing technology-specific mandates or prescribed procurement programs. This will keep the focus on the fundamental goal of reducing carbon emissions in a sustainable manner.

Additionally, as we transition to an economy where energy is generated and used differently, the energy grid will need to be valued in ways that reflect the services provided, rather than the amount of energy delivered. That will mean moving toward a rate structure where energy companies are compensated for the grid services that they provide to customers, and customers receive clear value for what they bring to the energy grid, from private rooftop solar installations to electric vehicles. This approach would enable PG&E to find the most viable renewable energy options and apply them to the greatest effect, while safely and reliably providing the best value for customers.