CPUC Updates Confidentiality Rules for RPS Compliance Reporting

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a new Decision Clarifying and Improving Confidentiality Rules for the Renewables Portfolio Standard Program. The Decision revises the confidentiality matrix for RPS procurement records adopted in Decision 06-06-066 (as modified by Decisions 08-04-023 and 20-07-005) and shortens the confidentiality period for energy and capacity forecast data used in RPS procurement. Before the Decision, the energy and capacity forecast remained confidential for three years into the future and for one year in the past. Now, the data will be confidential for the current year or the year of filing and for two years into the future.

The Commission’s reasoning focuses on the “substantial public interest in the Renewables Portfolio Standard program” which warrants greater public access to RPS data compared to other data. In addition, the Commission points to the how the average time for renewable projects to come online is now less than three years.

For contracts requiring Commission approval as well as those that do not, RPS contract terms and procurement price will become public eighteen months after the contract execution date or 30 days after the commercial operation date/energy delivery start date, whichever comes first. Unbundled Renewable Energy Credits (REC) procured by retail sellers shall become publicly available 30 days after the REC deliveries begin under the contract or one year after the contract is executed, whichever comes first.

In addition, the Decision authorizes the release of information on RPS-eligible bids that “do not result in contracts and bids that do not reach the shortlisting stage in an investor-owned utility’s solicitation.” Data from these bids will become publicly accessible after the Commission approves the final contract in the procurement solicitation when three or more bidders are in the resource category. Once the CPUC approves the final contract in the related RPS solicitation, a specific bid or an individual bidder’s bid information may be kept confidential for two years.

Contact: Andy Brown, Jessica Melms