FINAL BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
C 63 L 20
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Concerning system reliability during the clean energy transformation act implementation.
Sponsors: Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology (originally sponsored by Senators Sheldon, Carlyle and Short).
Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology
House Committee on Environment & Energy
Background: In 2019, the Legislature passed the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), which requires Washington's electric utilities to meet 100 percent of their retail electric load using non-emitting and renewable resources by January 1, 2045. Additionally, CETA requires electric utilities to eliminate coal-fired resources from their allocation of electricity by December 31, 2025, and make all retail sales of electricity greenhouse gas (GHG) neutral by January 1, 2030.
By January 1, 2024, and every four years thereafter, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) must report to the Legislature a review of the three CETA standards focused on technologies, forecasts, existing transmission, environmental and public safety, affordability, and reliability.
The full report must include:
an evaluation of impacts or costs and benefits on system reliability and utilities;
an evaluation identifying anticipated financial costs and benefits to electric utilities;
an evaluation of new or emerging technologies that could be considered renewable resources; and
an assessment of the impacts on middle-income families, small businesses, and manufacturers in Washington.
Summary: The Legislature finds the northwest’s power system is undergoing significant changes. Maintaining the adequacy, sufficiency, and availability of power supply to the growing populace in the northwest is critical to the future of the region. To do so, additional information sharing and coordination among utilities, planning entities, and state agencies is necessary to ensure the region is adapting to the changing power system.
At least once every 12 months, Commerce and the Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) must jointly convene a meeting of representatives of the investor-owned utilities, consumer-owned utilities, regional planning organizations, transmission operators, and other stakeholders to discuss the current, short-term, and long-term adequacy of energy resources to serve Washington’s electric needs and address specific steps the utilities can take to coordinate planning in light of changes to the northwest power system. The changes may include technological developments, retirements of legacy baseload power generation resources, and changes in the laws and regulations affecting power supply options.
Commerce and the UTC must provide a summary of each meeting and specific action items to the Governor and the Legislature, within 60 days of the meeting. The annual meeting requirement expires January 1, 2025.
Votes on Final Passage:
June 11, 2020