by Robert Olson and
David J. Shulock -- Brown, Olson and Wilson, P.C.
(originally published by PMA OnLine Magazine:
Three bills proposing increased renewable energy use have been
introduced recently in the Minnesota State House. On March 23, 2006, House
File 3883 was introduced. If passed, this bill would require utilities to
provide 25 percent of their retail sales by the year 2025 from renewable
sources put into service after 1974. A similar alternative bill, Senate File
1688, was introduced on March 11, 2006, setting a 20 percent standard by
2020. A third alternative bill, House File 3793, was introduced March 21,
2006. That bill also raises the renewable goal to 25 percent by 2025.
Currently Minnesota has a renewable goal that requires utilities to make a
"good faith effort" to reach a 10 percent level by 2015.
On April 12, 2006, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) voted
to approve new regulations requiring that 20 percent of the state’s
electricity must come from renewable sources by 2020. The rules require a
"set aside" of 1,500 MW for solar power. This is the largest solar
commitment in the country relative to population and electric consumption.
Under the new regulations, the Class I requirements will
rise in steps until it reaches 20 percent by 2020, with solar making up two
percent of the target amount. Class I includes electric energy produced from
solar technologies, photovoltaic technologies, wind energy, fuel cells
powered by renewable fuels, geothermal technologies, wave or tidal action,
and/or methane gas from landfills or biomass. Class II includes electric
energy produced at a resource recovery facility or eligible hydro power
facility. The 2.5 percent Class II requirement will remain fixed until 2020,
resulting in a cumulative total requirement in 2020 for both Classes of 22.5
percent. To meet these goals, the RPS mandates the use of renewable energy
certificates for compliance. New Jersey currently has a renewable
requirement of four percent by 2008.
On March 20, 2006, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission chairman, Ben
R. Lujan, called for the state’s electric utilities to obtain 20 percent of
their power from renewable resources by 2025. Currently under New Mexico
state law, electrical utilities are required to obtain only ten percent of
the electricity from alternative energy sources by the year 2010.
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm issued Executive Directive 2006-2 on
April 6, 2006. The directive calls for the development of a comprehensive
state energy plan, including the creation of a state renewable portfolio
standard for electric utilities. As part of the order, the governor
requested that the chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission
establish a renewable energy portfolio to encourage the production and use
of alternate energy sources by requiring that a certain percentage of the
state’s energy supply come from renewables. The report is due to the
governor no later that December 31, 2006.
Robert A. Olson is a partner in the law firm of Brown, Olson &
which maintains a nationwide practice in energy law, public utility law and related
commercial transactions. He can be reached at:
Brown, Olson & Gould, PC
2 Delta Drive, Suite 301
Concord, NH 03301
email@example.com | (603) 225-9716