Legislative Analyst's Office
Analysis of the 2002-03 Budget Bill
Chapter 329, Statutes of 2000 (AB 970, Ducheny), created the Clean Energy Green Team to facilitate the development and permitting of new electricity generation capacity in the state. This Green Team is to provide potential power plant developers with information regarding siting a power plant in California, including information on how to mitigate the environmental effects of a power plant. It was also charged with providing assistance to developers in obtaining essential "inputs" (natural gas, water, and air emission offsets), as well as assistance in working with local governments in obtaining local permits and ensuring their approvals. The Green Team is also to develop recommendations for establishing incentive financing programs for renewable and distributed energy resources. The Green Team is to remain in effect until January 1, 2004.
Green Team Members. In order to coordinate the expertise of many different departments in facilitating the development of new electricity generation in the state in a timely manner, the Green Team was comprised of members from several different state agencies. The Green Team consists of the following government entities:
Accomplishments. The Green Team has produced several documents, including a developer's guide for building power plants in California and documents on air and water quality issues. Work was also done to facilitate communication between developers and state and local agencies, including several workshops that sought to coordinate the permitting process. Some of the 51 new power plant applications filed in the prior year and current year may have been facilitated by activities of the Green Team.
We recommend deleting funding for the Clean Energy Green Team, including $100,000 and 1 personnel year (PY) from Item 8660-001-0461 in support of the California Public Utilities Commission, and $132,000 and 1 PY from Item 3940-001-0001 in support of the State Water Resources Control Board.
Proposed Spending. While several agencies have been involved in the Green Team, only two have funds and positions in the budget that exclusively support Green Team activities. The CPUC has one limited-term staff attorney dedicated to Green Team activities through the end of 2003-04. This position is budgeted at roughly $100,000 a year from the CPUC's Utilities Reimbursement Account. Additionally, the State Water Resources Control Board also has a limited-term position dedicated to Green Team activities through the end of 2003-04. This position is budgeted at $132,000 and is supported by the General Fund.
Current Activities. We understand that the Green Team has not been actively engaged in any new activities since the accomplishment of those activities listed above. In addition, the recession and conservation efforts have contributed to lower consumer demand for electricity and lower electricity prices. In addition, over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new electricity generation have come on-line in California over the past year. There is another 3,600 MW in construction to be on-line for next summer and 9,800 MW, comprised mostly of larger power plants, in construction and scheduled to be on-line by 2003. These combined factors have resulted in the CEC receiving fewer siting applications for new power plants over the past few months. Thus, the demand for additional resources to assist potential developers in developing proposals to build new power plant--beyond those already provided by the CEC and other agencies--is not needed. Therefore, we recommend deletion of the funding and positions dedicated solely to the activities of the Clean Energy Green Team.